Expert Testimony in Larin-Garcia Retrial Discounts Accused as Shooter

By Michael McCutcheon, Kaylee Pearlman and Sunny Zhou

RIVERSIDE, CA – The quadruple murder retrial of Jose Vladimir Larin-Garcia here in Riverside County Superior Court reconvened this week after a holiday break, with testimony from an expert witness who identified a man other than Larin-Garcia as the likely shooter.

Larin-Garcia is charged with four counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Jacob Montgomery, Juan Duarte Raya, Yuliana Garcia and Carlos Rivera.

The accused’s trial in early 2022 ended in a hung jury.

The new trial began this past September, with the defense team filing for a mistrial early in December, arguing the jury’s perception of Larin-Garcia had been tainted by the initial inclusion of incriminating evidence.

Judge Anthony Villalobos denied their request, but ultimately decided to exclude the evidence.

Additionally, the defense has maintained its primary argument throughout both trials that the shooter was alleged witness John Olvera instead of their client, Larin-Garcia.

In November, an investigator who authorized search warrants for Olvera’s social media accounts had noted that the teen had previously claimed credit for an unrelated shooting for “street cred.”

When Olvera later testified in Larin-Garcia’s trial, defense attorney John Dolan presented police interview transcripts in which Olvera was then asked if he had ever wanted to kill Montgomery, to which he responded, “I mean, hell yeah…once they wanna take it there, they wanna take it there.”

More recently, expert witness Randolph Beasley, an expert witness in the field of crime scene reconstruction and analysis, has testified about the patterns of the blood spatters in the case against Larin-Garcia.

Wednesday, Beasley led the jury through a diagram that reconstructed, in his opinion, the most likely sequence of events that culminated in the deaths of four people.

While his portrayal of events largely agreed with much of the analysis done previously by the prosecution’s own expert witness, there was a key difference—the shooter.

Beasley stated, in no uncertain terms, that the shooter was most likely in the middle seat of the vehicle in which the killings occurred, which was notably not where Larin-Garcia had been seated. This individual, marked as “unknown” on the diagram, has been argued to be Olvera by the defense.

The case proceeds this week.

About The Author

Michael is a senior at CSU Long Beach majoring in Criminology and Criminal Justice. After graduating with a BS, Michael plans to attend grad school and receive his Masters with a thesis on interrogation techniques.

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