DAs to try Golden State Killer crimes as single case

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District Attorneys from six counties file ‘unprecedented’ case against Golden State Killer suspect Joseph James DeAngelo

By Reggie Ellis @Reggie_SGN

SANTA ANA    Six county district attorneys shared the podium at a press conference in Orange County on Tuesday to announce crimes committed by the Golden State Killer will be prosecuted as a single case in Sacramento County. 

The “unprecedented” joint prosecution of former Exeter Police Officer Joseph James DeAngelo, 72, of Citrus Heights, Calif. involves Contra Costa, Orange, Sacramento, Santa Barbara, Tulare, and Ventura Counties. An amended complaint charging all crimes together in one case was filed at 10 a.m. on Aug. 21 in Sacramento County Superior Court. DeAngelo now faces 13 felony counts of murder with special circumstances allegations of multiple murders, murder during the commission of rape, robbery, and burglary. DeAngelo was additionally charged with 13 felony counts of kidnapping to commit robbery with sentencing enhancements for personal use of a firearm and personal use of a knife during the commission of the offenses.

Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said the six DAs decided to file the case jointly to prosecute DeAngelo as quickly and as effectively as possible due to the age of the case and aging witnesses and victims’ family members.

“The joining of this case in one county is in the best interest of victims, the efficiency of the case and the fair administration of justice,” Schubert said. “I look forward to all counties working together collaboratively in seeking justice in this case, the most significant and most notorious serial rape killings in California history.”

The decision to hold the press conference in Santa Ana was made because of the crucial evidence gathering of Orange County’s nationally recognized DNA units that originally linked the murders in Orange County to those in three other counties. All six DA’s heralded Orange County DA Tony Raukakas for being a state and national leader in forensic evidence prosecutions. Rackauckas, in turn, said he was confident that filing the case in Sacramento County was the best decision because the majority of the crimes and witnesses are all located there, as well as DeAngelo, who has been housed in Sacramento County following his arrest on April 24, 2018.

“This is a statewide case and Sacramento is the state capital,” Rackauckas said. “I think it is very appropriate to handle the case in Sacramento.”

Tulare County DA Tim Ward, along with his colleagues from across the state, all said they have been in constant contact with family members of the victims and assured them they will pool their resources to bring their loved one’s killer to justice.

“We’ve invested a lot of work to get to this point today,” Ward said. “I have committed every member of my office to assist Ms. Shubert’s office in any way we can.”

DeAngelo faces a minimum sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole. He is expected to appear for arraignment tomorrow, Aug. 23 at 1:30 p.m. in Department 61 of Sacramento County Superior Court. The DAs agreed that it was “inappropriate and premature” to announce whether or not they will seek the death penalty in the case.

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