The accused Golden State killer is expected to enter to plead to avoid the death penalty


It was known by many names. After committing dozens of robberies like Visalia Ransacker, DeAngelo's crimes became more violent in 1975, with the murder of Claude Snelling, prosecutors allege.

DeAngelo is expected to appear at 9:30 a.m. (12:30 p.m. ET) before Superior Court Judge Michael Bowman in the Union Hall of Sacramento State University, a venue chosen to allow for social distancing. Procedures are expected to take hours.

Details of the statement are sparse, though a defense motion says DeAngelo is seeking life in prison. The charges impose a maximum death sentence, but Governor Gavin Newsom imposed a moratorium on capital punishment last year.

Lawyers on both sides mom

While various media outlets report that DeAngelo will plead guilty to a litany of charges, including murder, rape and kidnapping, prosecutors and DeAngelo's defense team have been reluctant regarding the details.

In 2018, prosecutors in six different counties filed 26 charges against DeAngelo and consolidated the cases against him.

The counts come from Sacramento, Contra Costa, Orange, Santa Barbara, Tulare and Ventura counties.

DeAngelo's attorneys filed a motion in March to dismiss the charges, which included the footnote, "Mr. DeAngelo is 74 years old. He has offered to testify on the charges with a life sentence."

Defense attorneys did not elaborate on the statement. District attorney's offices released a statement earlier this month explaining their silence.

"We have a moral and ethical responsibility to consider any defense offer, given the massive scope of the case, the advanced age of many of the victims and witnesses, and our inherent obligations to victims," ​​he said. "This is an active prosecution and we will have no further comment until we are in Sacramento Superior Court on June 29."

Prosecutors said they will hold a press conference Monday at 3 p.m. (6 p.m. ET) in the Sacramento State Ballroom.

The suspect

In 1973, DeAngelo began working as a police officer in Auburn, just outside of Sacramento, and then in Exeter, an hour southeast of Fresno. The Vietnam War veteran spent six years with the police before being fired for stealing a dog repellent and a hammer from a pharmacy.

He later worked as a mechanic in Roseville, near Sacramento, retiring in 2017. When he was arrested in April 2018, he was in Citrus Heights, the neighborhood where the Golden State Killer raped the first of his known victims in 1976.

DeAngelo's longtime neighbors thought it was strange and lonely, they said. He yelled at passersby getting too close to his yard or at people mowing the lawn too early in the morning, but there was no sign that he was a serial killer, they said.
The researchers identified him using a novel research technique known as genetic genealogy that combines DNA analysis with genealogical research.
The DNA from the crime scene matched the genetic material of one of DeAngelo's relatives, who registered with a genealogy site, prosecutors said.

Break the case

While investigators did not immediately link DeAngelo's crimes, patterns began to emerge. For one thing, if he broke into a couple's house, he would usually tie the man down, put dishes on his back, and threaten to kill both victims if he heard the plates fall while raping the woman.

"Over the years, we heard about homicides in Southern California and thought he was the rapist for the eastern area," said Larry Crompton, a retired detective with the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Department. "But he didn't leave fingerprints, so we couldn't show, other than his (modus operandi), that he was the same person. We didn't know anything about DNA."

Investigators in 2001 were able to link the crimes of the East Area Rapist and the original night stalker through DNA testing.

Seventeen years later, using DNA from the crime scene, they created a profile in a genealogy database called GEDMatch, and DeAngelo's name appeared on a list of possible suspects.
They then gathered DeAngelo's DNA into a car door handle and a tissue in his trash can, which matched the DNA from the crime scenes.

CNN's Eric Levenson, Cheri Mossburg and Breeanna Hare contributed to this report.


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