Authorities update case against Golden State Killer suspect
California authorities update Joseph James DeAngelo case.
A former police officer, suspected of being California’s elusive Golden State Killer facing 26 murder, and rape-related charges Thursday after prosecutors decided this week to consolidate the charges in the provinces in the whole country in one case.
A member of the family described the 15-minute recitation of the violations as “very, very intense.”
The Sacramento County Superior Court hearing is a trial in the capital of the state, which under different cities terrorized by the rapes and murders during the 1970s and 1980s.
The statute of limitation has long run out to charge the 72-year-old Joseph DeAngelo with the suspect of the rape of almost 50 women. As officers of justice filed 13 kidnapping-related charges that are not barred by the passage of time.
He is also confronted with the consolidated murder charges previously filed in five other California counties.
“The complaint alleges numerous crimes across multiple counties and data,” Judge Michael Sweet said for the reading of each of the 26 charges.
DeAngelo stood stone-faced and ramrod straight in a cage in the courtroom, never looking in the courtroom was filled with survivors, family members, journalists and at least a half a dozen armed bailiffs. District attorneys from five of the six provinces where the crimes were committed were in the courtroom but did not speak.
D’angelo has yet to enter a plea. The prosecutors have not yet decided whether to seek the death penalty, but said that they will fight its use of a public defender and trying to get him to pay for his own defense at his next hearing in December.
His public defender, Diane Howard repeatedly refused to comment.
“That was very, very intense and really difficult,” says Jennifer Carole of Santa Cruz, the daughter of the victim, Lyman Smith, an attorney who was killed at the age of 43 in Ventura in 1980. His wife, of 33 years, Charlene Smith, was raped and murdered in the same time.
“Even those few words don’t begin to summarize what happened during the crimes. They were horrible, what everyone went was really horrible. So to hear, that black-and-white, to hear it get listed, it was hard, it was harder than I thought it would be,” she said. “My heart is pounding and now. I can feel it.”
They are welcomed with the trial consolidated in Sacramento, which she and the officer of justice said that would make it easier for the victims.
“I think it’s going to be healing for all of us,” Carole said. Other survivors and supporters not comment, but one held a handmade sign with the text “Remember the Victims” in the direction of tv cameras as they filed out of the courtroom.
Carole said that the number of survivors and family members grows with each hearing, as they learn to support each other.
Survivors have been told that a trial can be five to seven years away, she said, but she said that she was not disturbed by the expected legal wrangling.
“For me, his life is already over. It is done,” she said. “The rest of us have moved on. The survivors have done remarkably well.”
DeAngelo was arrested in April at his home in Sacramento County after investigators linked him to a number of of the massacre with the help of DNA evidence.
Prosecutors said a sadistic stalker also known as the East Area Rapist and the Visalia Ransacker, among other nicknames, would sneak into suburban homes through the windows in the night and surprise sleeping victims, who ranged in age from 13 to 44.
If the opponent found a couple, he would bind the man and the stack of dishes on his back, threatening to kill both victims, as he heard the plates crash to the ground while he raped the woman. He ransacked the houses, taking of souvenirs such as coins and jewelry, for on the flight.
DeAngelo worked as a police officer in the cities in the area, two of the sprees that authorities said terrorized areas during a more innocent time when kids rode bikes to school and played outside until dark, and people don’t lock their doors at night.