Remorseless 'Golden State Killer' ignores relatives of victims during court hearing to consolidate charges
72-year-old Joseph DeAngelo has been accused of murdering 13 people and committing more than 50 rapes during a two-decade crime spree that spanned six counties
The alleged Golden State Killer appeared in court looking quite frail on Thursday when he was summoned to face more than two dozen murder and kidnapping charges. 72-year-old Joseph DeAngelo stood in a courtroom cage in Sacramento Superior Court while prosecutors consolidated charges against him from all around California into a single case.
According to reports by the Daily Mail, DeAngelo has been accused of murdering 13 people and committing more than 50 rapes during a two-decade crime spree that spanned six counties. However, he will never face trial for the rapes he committed because the statute of limitations has long expired on the crimes since they reportedly happened in the late '70s and mid-'80s.
Prosecutors now are choosing to charge him with 13 kidnappings because the crimes have no time limit. Other than that, DeAngelo also is currently facing 13 counts of first-degree murder.
The alleged criminal remained quite stone-faced throughout the length of the proceedings and never once looked at the courtroom, where the family members and relatives of his alleged victims sat. The courtroom also had the district attorneys from five of the six counties where the crimes took place but none of them spoke a word.
As per reports, DeAngelo is yet to enter a plea since prosecutors have not decided whether to seek the death penalty. However, they said they will fight his use of a public defender and try to make sure that he pays for his own defense at his next hearing in December. DeAngelo's public defender, Diane Howard, repeatedly declined comment, reports suggest.
"That was very, very intense and really tough," said Jennifer Carole of Santa Cruz, the daughter of victim Lyman Smith, a lawyer who was slain at age 43 in Ventura in 1980. His wife, 33-year-old Charlene Smith, was raped and murdered at the same time, as per reports. "Even those few words don't begin to summarize what happened during the crimes. They were heinous. What everybody went through was really horrible."
"So, to hear it, that black-and-white, to hear it get listed, it was hard — it was harder than I thought it was going to be," Carole said. "My heart is pounding right now. I'm feeling it."
Carole also said that the number of survivors and family members seems to keep growing with each court hearing since the survivors are starting to learn to support each other. Reports say that the survivors have already been informed that a trial may be five to seven years away, but Carole said that they aren't disturbed by the expected legal wrangling.
"To me, his life is already over. It's done," she said. "The rest of us have moved on. The survivors have done remarkably well."
DeAngelo was arrested in April at his house in Sacramento County after investigators linked him to several of the slayings using DNA evidence. According to the publication, DeAngelo used to work as a police officer in towns where the crime sprees took place. Authorities said the crimes terrorized these neighborhoods where children usually rode bicycles to school and played outside until dark.