Sac County slated for DeAngelo Trial
The suspect dubbed as the Golden State Killer case will now face additional charges of kidnapping to commit robbery and will be tried in Sacramento County, according to statements made by prosecutors at a press conference Tuesday morning in Santa Ana.
Citrus Heights resident Joseph James DeAngelo Jr., 72, faces 13 counts of murder in connection with numerous crimes in the 1970s and 1980s, excluding the newest kidnapping charges announced on Tuesday for cases in Contra Costa County. Prior to the murders, it is suspected that DeAngelo operated as the East Area Rapist, who raped dozens of women.
Prosecutors from Sacramento, Orange, Contra Costa, Santa Barbara, Tulare and Ventura counties were at Tuesday’s event, where they announced new charges and the trial venue. The newest kidnapping charges are related to incidents in Contra Costa County. Prosecutors from all of the involved counties will continue to work closely together on the case and the forthcoming court proceedings, which will be one of the highest profile trials in California.
"We have full faith and confidence in the men and women of the Sacramento district Attorney's Office to see this case through, said Tulare County District Attorney Tim Ward. In Tulare County, DeAngelo is charged with the 1975 shooting death of Claude Snelling.
DeAngelo reportedly graduated from Folsom High School in 1964 before enlisting in the U.S. Army in the Vietnam War. He later attended nearby Sierra College where he earned an associate’s degree in police science and became a police officer, eventually becoming a member of the Auburn Police Department.
After DeAngelo was fired from the Auburn Police Department in 1979 for shoplifting a hammer and dog repellent from a store, the rapes discontinued, but a serial killer then began striking in Southern California. He assaulted and killed 10 people in Orange, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties by bludgeoning or shooting them. The last victim, an 18-year-old, was raped and killed in 1986 at her home in Irvine.
In 2000, DNA evidence linked most of the murders. The following year, DNA unearthed in three rape kits confirmed they were also the work of the East Area Rapist. Early this year, further DNA narrowed the hunt down in the longtime cold case to pin DeAngelo as the suspect.
DeAngelo was arrested in April at his Citrus Heights home and charged with 12 murders. Prior to the arrest, police obtained a search warrant and had searched DeAngelo’s trash to obtain the needed DNA to continue their investigation.
"DeAngelo is a human predator who took a path through all of these counties and committed vicious, violent crimes in our state," Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said. "Wherever he went, he left a wake of terror. Our teams have been working for decades to try to capture this defendant.”
In Sacramento County, DeAngelo is accused of the Feb. 2, 1978 murders of Kate and Brian Maggoire, 20 and 2. He is also facing nine Sacramento County allegations of kidnapping nine women to commit robbery between September 1976 and Cctober 1977.
"It is very fitting that this journey for justice that has lasted over 40 years should end in Sacramento," Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said. “We stand united on team justice,”
DeAngelo is represented by a Sacramento County public defender. He has not yet entered a plea in the murder charges. He remains in custody in Sacramento County jail and is being held without bail, pending charges in five different counties.