Judge affirms death penalty for Palm Springs man convicted of quadruple murder
February 9, 2024
INDIO – Judge Anthony Villalobos today affirmed the findings of a jury that the man responsible for the execution style murders of four people in Palm Springs in 2019 should be sentenced to death.
Jose Vladimir Larin Garcia, DOB: 9-28-99, killed Carlos Campos-Rivera, 25; Yuliana Garcia (no relation), 17; Jacob Montgomery, 19; and Juan Duarte-Raya, 18; on Feb. 3, 2019. Just over four years later, on Feb. 24, 2023, the jury recommended the death penalty for Larin Garcia.
On the night of the murders, Larin Garcia was riding in a car with three of the victims when he met up with Campos-Rivera near the gate of the apartment complex where he lived on Canon Drive. Larin Garcia shot Campos-Rivera twice, including a kill-shot to the head, and the car sped several blocks away. A neighbor testified during the trial to hearing people screaming from inside a car, the sound of multiple gunshots and then a loud crash. The bodies of Yuliana Garcia, Montgomery and Duarte-Raya were found in the disabled car on Sunny Dunes Road, all with targeted gunshot wounds to the head. Yuliana Garcia also received a wound to her hand, believed to have occurred as she tried to shield herself from the barrage of gunfire at close range.
As police investigated the crash scene, they discovered the body of Campos-Rivera in close proximity. They also found Larin Garcia spattered in the victims’ blood, with his shoes and jacket removed, hiding under a truck a couple blocks away from the disabled car. Larin Garcia was taken to the hospital for treatment of multiple abrasions. He called his mother while there, told her he needed to talk to a lawyer, and then fled barefoot from the hospital wearing his medical gown.
Early the next day, an investigator from the District Attorney’s office arrested Larin Garcia at the Greyhound bus station. He was wearing different clothing, had shaved his head, and was carrying a Florida-bound bus ticket booked under a false name.
Larin Garcia was charged with the four murders, but a mistrial was declared in March 2022, and a second trial was held. On Feb. 6, 2023, the jury found Larin Garcia guilty of four counts of first-degree murder. They also found true the allegation of personal use of a firearm, and the special circumstances of lying in wait, and multiple victims. Those special circumstances made Larin Garcia eligible for a death sentence.
“The death penalty is reserved for those who have truly proven themselves to be without remorse for actions that are among the most egregious imaginable,” added District Attorney Mike Hestrin. “The decision made today is not one made lightly, but reflects the heinous nature of these crimes, committed by a man who took so much away from so many people, for something so inconsequential.”
The case, INF1900265, was prosecuted by Deputy DA Samantha Paixao of the Homicide Trial Team.
“The magnitude of the crimes that the defendant committed that night was enormous,” said Paixao. “It was five victims who were taken. Carlos, Jacob, Juan, Yuliana, and her unborn child. Their loss left a gaping wound in their lives. Mothers and fathers who are left without their child, children who have to grow up without their father, their grandchild, the siblings who must go on without their loved one.”
“I would like to thank the District Attorney’s office for the support that I have received for the past few years,” said Maria Morales, mother of Yuliana Garcia. “The support of Victim Service Specialist Glenda Escobedo and DDA Samantha Paixao helped me stand strong for my daughter Yuliana while we waited for justice for our families.”
Campos-Rivera lived in Palm Springs and Yuliana Garcia was from Thousand Palms. Montgomery and Duarte-Raya lived in Cathedral City.