Expert Witness Testimony Given about Blood Found on Man Being Retried for Quadruple Homicide 

By Naya Wiezel

RIVERSIDE, CA – An expert blood evidence witness testified Tuesday in a Riverside County Superior Court in the ongoing quadruple 2019 murder trial of Jose Vladimir Larin-Garcia, who being retried after the first trial resulted in a hung jury earlier this year.

The witness was a forensics expert, who was in charge of collecting samples from the crime scene and Larin-Garcia’s clothing.

The witness explained her job is to assess what an item is and locate the areas of interest on the item that she will be testing. In this particular case, she said she was given a brief case synopsis of the case to help her know what she was looking for. In this case, she was looking for the “visual appearance of blood.”

The witness then went into extreme detail about the areas in which she examined the clothing and what she found.

She said she first looked at the medial, or “inside” portion of Larin-Garcia’s shoe, in search of the appearance of blood. She said she found “brown and red stains that had the appearance of blood,” swabbed these samples, and prepared them for DNA analysis.

She said she repeated this process for the lateral, or “outside” portion of Larin-Garcia’s shoe, and repeated the same process on the right shoe. Additionally, she said she swabbed the interior tongue and ankle opening of the left shoe. She found the same brown and red stains that “had the appearance of blood.”

She explained she also completed this same process on Larin-Garcia’s “puffy outer jacket” where she found the same brown and red stains that appeared as blood. 

She clarified these stains were much larger than the samples that she took, because “it is just as important to observe what is not there as it is important to observe what is there,” noting these tests are “presumptive, not confirmatory tests” because they are looking for the appearance of blood, not blood itself. The DNA tests will confirm if the stains are blood.”

The witness also said she swabbed the inside of the shoes to try and get a DNA sample that will determine who was wearing the shoe. She said this test, however, cannot be certain because people share shoes frequently and there is no way of knowing that the DNA that is found is from the last person who wore the shoe.

She then explained DNA can be left by touching any surface, but DNA collection varies on the level of contact with a surface. The witness added, for example, someone who is sweating frequently will leave more DNA behind than someone who is not.

The defense then examined this witness, led by private attorney John Dolan, who asked whether the shoes could have “apparent blood” on them simply from being in the area where the blood was found on the floor. The witness then responded that this was possible.

Additionally, the defense asked if this same sentiment was also possible for the apparent blood found on Larin-Garcia’s jacket, to which the witness responded that this was possible.

The defense also questioned whether the witness was able to determine if blood was “spilled” on clothing from above, to which the witness stated that she is not “trained as a pattern analysis expert.”

This witness testimony, suggested Defense Attorney Dolan, questions the fairness of this trial, as this is the second time Larin-Garcia is being tried for the quadruple  murder.

And, he argued, while there was blood found on Larin-Garcia’s clothing and shoes, there is no way of determining how the blood got there and the DNA samples could be from a previous time the defendant wore these clothes.

The trial will reconvene later this week. 

About The Author

Naya Wiezel is a 3rd year undergraduate student at UCLA majoring in Political Science with a minor in Public Affairs. She has a passion for political activism and is a part of social justice groups on campus. She plans on attending law school after completing her undergraduate studies and hopes to go into entertainment law.

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