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Golden State Killer Suspect Arraigned In Sacramento

Rich Pedroncelli / AP Photo

James Joseph DeAngelo, 72, who authorities suspect is the so-called Golden State Killer responsible for at least a dozen murders and 50 rapes in the 1970s and 80s, makes his first appearance, Friday, April 27, in Sacramento County Superior Court.

Rich Pedroncelli / AP Photo

Updated 5:45 p.m.

Joseph James DeAngelo wore an orange jumpsuit and was brought into Sacramento Superior Court in a wheelchair.

He heard the two murder charges facing him in Sacramento.

"Complaint filed April 25, 2018 alleges two counts of murder and a special circumstance," read Judge Michael Sweet. 

The special circumstance is the use of a firearm.

Family members of Brian and Katie Maggiore --killed 40 years ago by a gunman in Rancho Cordova sat quietly in the front row.

DeAngelo's voice was raspy and barely audible. It took several seconds for him to respond to the judge's questions. He affirmed his name, but appeared confused when asked if he could afford his own attorney, answering, "I have a lawyer" even though an attorney from the Public Defender's office, Diane Howard, stood at his side with her hand on his shoulder.

DeAngelo is a suspect in at least twelve murders and about 50 rapes.

Sacramento Deputy District Attorney Steve Grippi says his office is trying to figure out a way to charge DeAngelo for the rapes despite the statute of limitations having expired.

"It's a matter of when they were committed, what was the law at the time they were committed and how has some of the new statutes changed that," Grippi said. "That's what we're working on now."

Grippi says no decision has been made where the murder cases would be tried, but also says it would make sense to try them all in the same county.

Updated 4:46 p.m.

(AP) — The man accused of being the Golden State Killer did not enter a plea during his first court appearance.

Joseph James DeAngelo was arraigned Friday in Sacramento County Superior Court on two counts of murder. He's suspected of being the attacker who a dozen people and raped nearly 50 women during the 1970s and '80s, also known as the East Area Rapist.

He was handcuffed in a wheelchair and five police officers surrounded him as he listened to the judge with his eyes barely open.

A court official read the details of the charges that DeAngelo is facing and a judge asked if he had a lawyer.

In a frail voice, DeAngelo responded, "I have a lawyer." An attorney from the public defender's office was with him in court.

DeAngelo has been denied bail.

Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones has said DeAngelo was in a psychiatric ward of the county jail and has said little. Jones says there's been "quiet reflection" and mumbling.

Sacramento Deputy District Attorney Steve Grippi says his office is trying to figure out a way to charge DeAngelo for more than 50 rapes and sexual assaults despite the statute of limitations having expired.

"It's a matter of when they were committed, what was the law at the time they were committed and how has some of the new statutes changed that," Grippi said. "That's what we're working on now."

Grippi says no decision has been made where the murder cases would be tried, but also says it would make sense to try them all in the same county.

Capital Public Radio's Bob Moffitt contributed to this report.

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