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Golden State Killer Suspect In Court Amid Fight Over Records

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 2:18 p.m.

The man accused of being the East Area Rapist and Golden State Killer shuffled into a Sacramento Superior Court holding cell on Monday. Joseph James DeAngelo had previously been rolled into court in a wheelchair.

But it will be at least another two weeks before he enters a plea to charges that he killed Brian and Katie Maggiore in 1978.

DeAnne Helton says her parents were close friends with the Maggiores. “It’s been 40 years,” she said. “It's been something my family dealt with for a long time, probably one reason my mom moved us from Rancho Cordova to Elk Grove. I just never thought there would be closure.”

DeAngelo is charged with 10 other murders in three Southern California counties. District attorneys from those counties met last week, but they have not announced if they will move to try him in one jurisdiction.

Bob Moffitt, Capital Public Radio


UPDATED 12:09 p.m.

(AP) — The 72-year-old former police officer accused of being the Golden State Killer appeared in a courtroom cage used for defendants in jail Monday as a judge put off a decision on whether to release search and arrest warrants in the case.

Prosecutors allege Joseph DeAngelo is responsible for at least a dozen murders and about 50 rapes in the 1970s and '80s. The Associated Press and other news outlets are seeking to unseal details related to the arrest and search warrants prosecutors obtained in April, arguing they will provide important details about how prosecutors identified DeAngelo and what evidence they have gathered from him.

DeAngelo's public defender, Diane Howard, says the information should remain shielded from public view because it could taint jurors and witnesses. In a motion, Howard said the arrest warrants include evidence and details about rapes that DeAngelo is accused of committing, which wouldn't be permissible at trial.

Prosecutors have searched DeAngelo's home in a suburb outside Sacramento and recently obtained warrants to search his cellphone and computer. They just turned over information about what evidence they already have gathered to Howard.

The parties will be back in court May 29 to argue over what should be made public. Prosecutors don't object to unsealing the records.

At the brief hearing Monday, DeAngelo appeared inside the barred-in area of the courtroom. He had previously been handcuffed to a wheelchair outside the area alongside his attorneys. He has not entered a plea.

District attorneys from Sacramento, Santa Barbara, Orange and Ventura counties met last week to discuss where DeAngelo may be tried and who will prosecute. But they made no decision and plan to meet again in late June.


Original story: (AP) — A judge is set to consider Monday whether to make public search and arrest warrants for the man suspected of being the Golden State Killer.

Joseph James DeAngelo, 72, is due back in court for a routine hearing, while lawyers battle over unsealing records preceding the arrest of the former police officer.

Authorities allege he is the serial rapist and killer responsible for 12 slayings and nearly 50 rapes in the 1970s and '80s.

The Associated Press and several other news organizations are asking Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Michael Sweet to unseal the warrants.

DeAngelo's attorney, Diane Howard, argues that making the documents public could taint witnesses and jurors and result in an unfair trial. But she wants Sweet to delay a decision until defense attorneys can review more documents, including what was seized when investigators searched her client's properties.

Prosecutors don't object to unsealing the records but say a different judge who issued the warrants, Superior Court Judge Steve White, should make the decision.

Prosecutors said they used DNA and a genealogical website to identify DeAngelo, who was arrested last month and remains jailed in Sacramento County.

Attorneys for the news media say the warrants could provide more details about the techniques used to identify him, but Howard said the warrants do not provide much new information on the use of genealogical websites.

District attorneys from Sacramento, Santa Barbara, Orange and Ventura counties met last week to discuss where DeAngelo may be tried and who will prosecute. But they made no decision and plan to meet again in late June.

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