Palm Springs Quadruple Homicide Jury Trial Resumes with Testimony from Detective Who Investigated Crime Scene 

By Talia Kruger

INDIO, CA – Wednesday the Palm Springs quadruple homicide jury trial resumed here in Riverside County Superior Court with testimony from one of the detectives who investigated the scenes of some of the murders.

Jose Vladmir Larin-Garcia is on trial—for the second time—on four counts of murder after four people were found dead in Palm Springs. This is the second time he is facing trial for the murder charges as the jury trial that took place in March of this year ended in a mistrial.

Court began Wednesday with testimony from Detective Bixler, a police officer for Palm Springs PD for 13 years.

The detective was first asked about the scene of the crime, specifically regarding exhibit pictures of the crime scene and various objects found at the scene.

One of these items, circled with white chalk by another officer, was a “small bullet projectile that was located on the north side of the street,” said the detective referring to the images shown to the court.

The detective then described how she photographed the circle, getting angles from each side to show the bullet fragment’s location with reference to the streets surrounding it before taking more detailed close up photos.

According to the detective, this fragment came from the part of the bullet that was fired so care was taken not to disturb any DNA evidence that may have been found on the bullet when collecting it for evidence.

The next piece of evidence the detective examined was a silver Dodge pickup truck where the victim’s body was found.

The prosecution then asked the detective questions related to the location of the truck and its relation to the bullet fragment.

Next, the detective described how she had noticed a reddish brown stain to the right side of the vehicle, just below the passenger side door. She indicated to the court how she had believed this to be blood and thus collected it as evidence.

The third piece of evidence described by the detective was a black XL H&M jacket that another officer had located underneath the truck. She explained that when she was photographing it in evidence she had noticed reddish brown stains on the sleeves to the bottom of the right cuff and front of the jacket.

Following her testimony regarding the jacket, Deputy District Attorney Paixao questioned the detective about shoes found underneath the pickup truck.

According to the detective, the shoes also had numerous reddish brown stains which she believed to be blood.

The detective was instructed by the sergeant to photograph specific items, including a bullet casing located in the sand area between two properties and several shoe imprints.

However, she indicated to the court this was a heavily trafficked area so it would be difficult to tell how long the imprints had been there. The detective indicated that the casings belonged to a 9mm Luger.

She also photographed a bullet fragment found at the scene and a wallet found on one of the two victims in the car, the man who had been seated in the passenger seat. According to the detective, along with the wallet, a black spring loaded knife was also found in the pocket of the victim.

Later in her testimony, the detective was asked to describe video footage taken of the accused in the ER at 3:39:56 am.

The detective testified that it was hospital policy that once a patient was admitted they would have them change into what she referred to as a “paper suit.”

The detective then described to the court the images in the video, explaining how on the bottom of the screen were the sliding glass doors to the entrance of the ER looking out into a circular driveway. The detective indicated that the court should focus on the lower right corner of the video where the doors are.

The video allegedly shows the accused fleeing the hospital from 3:39 to 3:40 a.m. according to the detective.

About The Author

Talia Kruger is a 3rd year Criminology major at UC Irvine. She plans to get her paralegal certification and enter the legal field before eventually applying to law school. Her aim is to become an environmental attorney or criminal defense attorney, and advocate for criminal justice reform.

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