The man accused of being the East Area Rapist, also known as the Golden State Killer, is expected to plead guilty to dozens of crimes on June 29.
The Sacramento County District Attorney's Office would not comment on the potential plea, but the deal was first reported by the Sacramento Bee.
"We have a moral and ethical responsibility to consider any offer from the defense, given the massive scope of the case, the advanced age of many of the victims and witnesses, and our inherent obligations to the victims," a spokesperson for the office wrote in a statement.
The Associated Press reports the plea will spare Joseph James DeAngelo, the man suspected of being the rapist and killer who terrorized California residents in the 1970s and 1980s, the death penalty. DeAngelo, a former police officer, is then expected to be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole in August after the surviving victims and relatives of those killed confront him in court.
Survivor Margaret Wardlow said Tuesday speaking on Insight with Beth Ruyak that she would have preferred a trial, if only to get more information about DeAngelo and his crimes.
"It's probably for the best," she said of the plea deal. "But I mean, there's a lot of unanswered questions that many of us have. And they will probably never be answered, which they may have been had we gone to court."
She said she didn't want to see DeAngelo get the death penalty, instead preferring him to spend life in prison, but that for other victims who lost a family member, the plea deal may not provide closure.
"I think that I don't think there's ever any real genuine closure," Wardlow said. "But it's certainly good knowing that he's behind bars and that he's not out there. He's not going fishing. He's not riding his motorcycle. And that gives me great pleasure ... Just knowing that."
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