Golden State Killer Expected to Take Guilty Plea Deal
By edhat staff
The accused serial killer and rapist known as the Golden State Killer is planning to accept a plea deal that will remove the death penalty.
Joseph James DeAngelo Jr., 74, is expected to plead guilty to 13 murders and kidnapping charges, as well as admit to additional crimes including rape, in a plea deal that offers life in prison instead of the death penalty, reports to the Los Angeles Times.
The Golden State Killer is a serial killer, serial rapist, and burglar who committed at least 13 murders, more than 50 rapes, and over 100 burglaries in California from 1974 to 1986, including the Santa Barbara area.
In the Sacramento area, he was known as the East Area Rapist, in Southern California he was the Original Night Stalker, and early on he was referred to as the Visalia Ransacker.
In 2001, DNA testing indicated that the East Area Rapist and the Original Night Stalker were the same person, which helped establish California's DNA database that collects DNA from all accused and convicted felons in California. The late crime writer Michelle McNamara shone a spotlight on the suspect's activities throughout the state and dubbed him "Golden State Killer" in early 2013.
In April of 2018, authorities charged the then 72-year-old United States Navy veteran and former police officer with eight counts of first-degree murder, based upon DNA evidence. Due to California's statute of limitations on pre-2017 rape cases, he could be charged with 1970s rapes, but he was charged in August 2018 with 13 related kidnapping and abduction attempts.
DNA evidence conclusively links DeAngelo to eight murders in Goleta, Ventura, Dana Point and Irvine, with two other murders in Goleta linked by modus operandi, or distinctive features, but not DNA. Many investigators also suspect the same killer in three other murders—two in Rancho Cordova and one in Visalia.
DeAngelo is charged with murdering Robert Offerman and Debra Manning in Goleta in 1979, as well as Cheri Domingo and Gregory Sanchez in Goleta in 1981. He's also been charged with killing Charlene and Lyman Smith in Ventura County in 1980.
Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley, one of six prosecutors in the case, said victims and their loved ones have a right to be heard and all prosecutors are working closely with the victims to ensure their statements are considered by the Court prior to sentencing.
"We have a moral and ethical responsibility to consider any offer from the defense, given the massive scope of the case, the advanced age of many of the victims and witnesses, and our inherent obligations to the victims," she said in a press release issued this afternoon.
Dudley stated there will be no further comment on the case until they are in Sacramento Superior Court on June 29 where DeAngelo is expected to submit his plea.
August 22, 2018: Golden State Killer to be Tried in Sacramento
May 11, 2018:
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