California's alleged Golden State Killer set to plead guilty

29 Juin, 2020, 21:24 | Auteur: Christine Menetries
  • 'Golden State Killer' suspect to plead guilty Monday; court moved to university ballroom

A plea deal will spare DeAngelo any chance of the death penalty for 13 murders and 13 kidnapping-related charges throughout California.

Joseph James DeAngelo, 74, entered the plea as part of a broader agreement with prosecutors from 11 California counties to admit to all allegations against him, charged and uncharged, in a crime wave dating back to the mid-1970s, prosecutors said at a hearing.

Gay and Bob Hardwick were among the survivors.

Two counts of murder in the February 2, 1978, shootings of Kate Maggoire, 20, and Brian Maggoire, 21, as they walked their dog in their Rancho Cordova neighborhood. The death penalty was never realistic anyway, she said, given DeAngelo's age and Gov. Gavin Newsom's moratorium on executions. "It will be good to put the thing to rest".

A guilty plea and life sentence avoids a trial or even the planned weeks-long preliminary hearing. But rather than be in a courtroom, he'll be in a California State University-Sacramento ballroom, standing before socially-distanced victims and family members. "And every time this comes up I think of all the lives he would have saved as an emergency room doctor". "My dad was never the same".

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Investigators painstakingly built a family tree by linking decades-old crime scene DNA to a distant relative through a popular online DNA database, confirming the link only after surreptitiously collecting his DNA from his vehicle door and a discarded tissue. He is accused of heinous crimes, including rape and murder, in nearly a dozen California counties in both Southern and Northern California during the 1970s to 80s.

The breakthrough came about two months after the case gained renewed national attention in the bestselling book, "I'll Be Gone in the Dark". He previously had worked as a police officer in the Central Valley town of Exeter from 1973 to 1976, near where the Visalia Ransacker struck more than 100 homes south of Fresno.

His defence attorneys have publicly lobbied since then for a deal that would spare him the death penalty, though they did not respond to repeated requests for comment before Monday's hearing.

"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 numerous victims and witnesses, and our inherent obligations to the victims", said a joint statement from prosecutors last week.

"Death doesn't solve anything".

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