Plea Deal Expected in ‘Golden State Killer’ Case

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Joseph DeAngelo, the man suspected of committing dozens of rapes and murders in California as the “Golden State Killer” is expected to plead guilty this month as part of a deal that will save him from the death penalty, reports Courthouse News Service. Former police officer DeAngelo, 74, will plead guilty to murder, rape, and other charges on June 29 in exchange for a life sentence. The details of the agreement are still being worked out, including the location where the hearing will take place. Officials are looking for a venue that will seat many victims, their families, and the media in a setting that will allow for social distancing due to the pandemic.

DeAngelo was arrested in 2018 using DNA evidence that linked him to at least 12 homicides and dozens of rapes committed from 1976 to 1986 in the Sacramento area, the Bay area, and Southern California. Prosecutors announced last year that they would seek the death penalty. Under the plea agreement, DeAngelo is expected to admit to crimes, including rapes, that he was not charged for because they had expired under the statute of limitations. Speaking on behalf of the six counties involved in DeAngelo’s case, Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said, “Victims of a crime are entitled to finality in their criminal cases.” After arresting DeAngelo at his suburban Sacramento County home in 2018, prosecutors said they had closed the book on a 40-year manhunt for a man who ransacked homes, raped and murdered for decades with impunity.

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