'Golden State Killer' Joseph DeAngelo's trial could last 10 years and cost taxpayers $20m
DeAngelo, a former police officer, is reportedly facing 13 murder charges and 13 rape-related charges for crimes committed in the 1970s and 1980s in Californa.
A judge in Sacramento ruled that the 73-year-old Golden State Killer, Joseph DeAngelo, cannot afford a private defense attorney and will have to continue being represented by a public defender for his trial. Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael Sweet, at a hearing last Thursday, said that after reviewing DeAngelo's financial records, it has been concluded that that the convict is indigent.
Sweet, during the hearing, said: "It will take an extraordinary amount of resources to litigate the charges in this case. He’s not going to have sufficient means or ability.” DeAngelo, a former police officer, is reportedly facing 13 murder charges and 13 rape-related charges for crimes committed in the 1970s and 1980s across six different counties in Californa.
Reports state that because of the statute of limitations for sex assault, the rape-related charges against him have been filed as kidnappings to commit robberies with the use of a gun and a knife. Investigators in the case believe that DeAngelo has committed at least 50 rapes, and was known for many years as the East Area Rapist. A new DNA evidence, in 2001, reportedly linked him to 12 murders committed in Southern California between 1979 and 1986.
DeAngelo, after evading the authorities for over 40 years, was arrested in late April after his DNA linked him to multiple crime scenes over the years. An additional charge against him was added in August, after “ballistics evidence” allegedly linked DeAngelo to a murder committed in Visalia in 1975. Authorities believe that this was the serial killer's first murder.
DeAngelo's trial is expected to be among the largest the state has seen in its history, lasting as long as 10 years and costing California taxpayers at least $20 million. Reports state that the sum includes an estimate of the deputy district attorneys salaries who will be trying the case and will also include the cost of DeAngelo's defense team, according to the New York Post.
Sacramento County Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Grippi, while talking to local NBC affiliate KCRA, said that the six counties involved in the case have worked out an "informal agreement" to share some of the financial costs in the case, which includes "the cost of their own employees coming to Sacramento and doing the case,” as well as “witness costs, travel fees and those sort of things."
“I’m aware of no other scenario in California where six different counties agreed to prosecute cases in one county,” Grippi said. “There’s 36,000 pages of discovery … over 2,000 photographs and 200 audio- and videotapes. And that’s just the first phase of discovery.”
A new state assembly bill called AB-132 was also introduced this week, and if it is passed, will assist in using appropriate state funds "to pay the extraordinary costs for the multijurisdictional prosecution and defense.”