By Allen Payton
A court hearing in the case of the People vs. Joseph James DeAngelo, known as the East Area Rapist and Golden State Killer, will be held in Sacramento on Monday, June 29, 2020. He is expected to plead guilty “to 13 murder and 13 kidnap for robbery counts, as well as admit responsibility for 62 other rapes and crimes that prosecutors say were committed in 11 California counties from 1974 through 1986,” according to the Sacramento Bee. Those include felonies from his alleged attacks of kidnapping during the course of a robbery in Contra Costa County from 1978 to 1979. It is reported DeAngelo’s plea will spare him from the death penalty.
The 74-year-old former Auburn Police Officer was arrested at his Citrus Heights home in August 2018 and the Contra Costa DA’s Office announced that he had been charged with his alleged crimes in this county, that same week. For thos crimes in Contra Costa County DeAngelo could have faced four life sentences plus ten years, if he was convicted. (See related Herald article)
The cases were prosecuted jointly by the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office and Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office in Sacramento County. The joint prosecution also included cases from Orange, Ventura, Santa Barbara, and Tulare Counties. An amended complaint, charging crimes from all six counties was also filed in August 2018.
Contra Costa District Attorney Diana Becton will participate in a multi-agency press conference immediately following the hearing, at approximately 3:00 p.m., that day. She will be joined by Orange County D.A. Todd Spitzer, Sacramento County D.A. Anne Marie Schubert, Santa Barbara County D.A. Joyce Dudley, Tulare County D.A. Tim Ward and Ventura County D.A. Gregory Totten.
The court hearing is expected to begin at 9:30 a.m. and will be livestreamed on Sacramento Superior Court’s YouTube for Department 24 linked here. The press conference will be livestreamed on the Sacramento County District Attorney’s YouTube channel linked here. Both the court hearing and the press conference will be held in the Sacramento State Ballroom, large enough to accommodate the over 150 victims, their families and the media and due to the concerns of the coronavirus and need for social distancing.