The suspect in the 2014 killing of Raul De La Rosa has been ruled competent to stand trial and faces his next hearing Feb. 13, according to San Benito County court records.
Christopher J. Larios, the 32-year-old Hollister man suspected in the killing of De La Rosa, has a preliminary examination set for Feb. 21, with a pre-preliminary examination scheduled for Feb. 13. A preliminary examination is where a judge decides if the case should move toward trial.
Larios was arrested by Hollister police after he walked into the station on Apollo Way on April 21 and turned himself in for the Dec. 23, 2014 killing of De La Rosa in the 2000 block of Scenic Drive.
The San Benito County District Attorney’s Office charged him with murder and an enhancement for using a gun in a crime. If convicted, he could face up to life in prison.
Larios, meanwhile, is familiar with being in custody from numerous prior convictions.
According to San Benito County court records, his local record dates back to 2005 when he was convicted of a misdemeanor drug offense. He also has local convictions that include carrying a dirk or dagger and exhibiting a deadly weapon in 2011, having a leaded cane in 2013, possession of a controlled substance in 2014, battery on a peace officer in 2014, vandalism in 2015, carrying a dirk or dagger in 2016, assault with great bodily injury in 2016, and inflicting corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant in 2017.
Larios was last released from the San Benito County Jail on April 18 before he turned himself in again three days later, according to jail personnel. His bail has now been set at $1.05 million.
Larios has been in and out of jail or prison for all of those prior cases, with records showing he spent 364 days in jail most recently for the corporal injury conviction.
For the 2014 murder case, Larios was represented by attorney Greg LaForge. But Harry Damkar relieved LaForge at a Thursday hearing and will serve as Larios’ attorney.