Golden State Killer suspect appears before judge

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7:50 p.m. ET, June 29, 2020

Hearing for accused Golden State Killer is over. Here's what you need to know.

Joseph James DeAngelo, center, is helped up by his attorney Diane Howard before his hearing in Sacramento, California, on Monday, June 29
Joseph James DeAngelo, center, is helped up by his attorney Diane Howard before his hearing in Sacramento, California, on Monday, June 29 Rich Pedroncelli/AP

The suspected Golden State Killer, Joseph James DeAngelo, has pleaded guilty to numerous charges, including 13 counts of first-degree murder.

DeAngelo is also accused of committing more than 50 rapes during his killing spree between 1975 and 1986.

Here's what you need to know about the hearing:

  • The charges: The 74-year-old pleaded guilty to 13 counts of first-degree murder and special circumstances (including murder committed during burglaries and rapes), as well as 13 counts of kidnapping. He also informally admitted to numerous other crimes, including rape.
  • The plea deal: Sacramento County Deputy District Attorney Amy Holliday said he agreed to plead guilty to all charges to avoid the death penalty. DeAngelo faces 11 consecutive terms of life without parole, with 15 concurrent life sentences and additional time for weapons charges.  Superior Court Judge Michael Bowman noted that sentence is only a recommendation, and DeAngelo will be sentenced at a later date.
  • About the hearing: The defendant appeared before the judge at the Sacramento State University Union Ballroom, a venue chosen to allow for social distancing. Dressed in a prison jumpsuit and appearing frail, DeAngelo and his defense team wore clear plastic face guards as they sat on a dais to Bowman's left.

6:45 p.m. ET, June 29, 2020

DeAngelo is admitting to uncharged offenses, including rape

Suspected Golden State Killer, Joseph James DeAngelo, speaks during a hearing in Sacramento on Monday.
Suspected Golden State Killer, Joseph James DeAngelo, speaks during a hearing in Sacramento on Monday. Fred Greaves/Reuters

The suspected Golden State Killer, Joseph James DeAngelo, is admitting to uncharged offenses in an effort to avoid the death penalty during his court appearance in Sacramento.

One prosector laid out the horrific details of DeAngelo raping a woman while her young daughter was in the house. DeAngelo admitted to the rape.

DeAngelo, who is 74 years old, agreed to plead guilty to 13 counts of first-degree murder and special circumstances (including murder committed during burglaries and rapes), as well as 13 counts of kidnapping, to avoid the death penalty, Sacramento County Deputy District Attorney Amy Holliday said.

As for other uncharged offenses in seven counties, DeAngelo has admitted to multiple uncharged offenses of rape so far in exchange for those counties to not charge him.

7:48 p.m. ET, June 29, 2020

DeAngelo pleads guilty as prosecutors describes crimes

Golden State Killer suspect Joseph James DeAngelo continued to plead guilty to a slew of charges this afternoon as he heard details of the crimes from prosecutors.

The hearing just went into a short recess in Sacramento.

According to Sacramento County Deputy District Attorney Amy Holliday, DeAngelo will also admit to all the uncharged offenses that have been alleged in seven counties in exchange for those counties not charging him.

When the lengthy hearing has concluded, he will have pleaded guilty to 13 counts of first-degree murder and special circumstances (including murder committed during burglaries and rapes), as well as 13 counts of kidnapping, the prosecution said.

DeAngelo was known by many names. After committing scores of burglaries as the Visalia Ransacker, DeAngelo's crimes became more violent in 1975, with the slaying of Claude Snelling, prosecutors allege.

For the next 11 years, he terrorized communities from Sacramento to Orange County, prosecutors say. Headlines attributed the crimes to the East Area Rapist, the Original Night Stalker and, finally, the Golden State Killer.

4:51 p.m. ET, June 29, 2020

Orange County prosecutor presents charges

Throughout today's hearing, California prosecutors have taken turns detailing the Golden State Killer-linked crimes that happened in their counties.

The hearing is back from its lunch recess, and Orange County officials are now the 1980 killings of Keith and Patrice Harrington.

5:31 p.m. ET, June 29, 2020

Why today's hearing is so lengthy

From CNN's Eliott C. McLaughlin and Stella Chan

Suspected Golden State Killer Joseph DeAngelo responds to one of the charges against him during his hearing in Sacramento on June 29.
Suspected Golden State Killer Joseph DeAngelo responds to one of the charges against him during his hearing in Sacramento on June 29. Rich Pedroncelli/AP

A hearing for suspected Golden State Killer Joseph DeAngelo started about three hours ago, and it will resume later this afternoon after a lunch break.

DeAngelo — who was arrested in April 2018, decades after the California crime spree — has agreed to plead guilty to each individual crime, prosecutors and his defense team said.

That means prosecutors from the counties where DeAngelo committed his crimes are reading the specifics of each offense, laying out horrific details about him binding, robbing, raping, sodomizing, beating and killing various victims. After one double murder in 1979, a prosecutor, DeAngelo snacked on leftover Christmas turkey from a victim's fridge and left the bones behind.

By the time the lengthy hearing concludes later today, he will have pleaded guilty to 13 counts of first-degree murder and special circumstances (including murder committed during burglaries and rapes), as well as 13 counts of kidnapping, the prosecution said.

He will also informally admit to numerous other crimes, it said.

3:16 p.m. ET, June 29, 2020

Prosecutors detail crimes during hearing

Prosecutors laid out the grim details of the charges against Golden State Killer suspect Joseph James DeAngelo this afternoon during a hearing in Sacramento, California.

DeAngelo pleaded guilty to several crimes committed across the state. He faces 26 charges, including 13 counts of first-degree murder.

What happens next: The hearing is now in recess for lunch. When the hearing resumes, Orange County prosecutors will lay out their case against DeAngelo.

2:25 p.m. ET, June 29, 2020

The hearing has resumed

KOVR
KOVR

The hearing for Golden State Killer suspect Joseph James DeAngelo has resumed after a short break.

California prosecutors have resumed reading the details of the charges against the suspected killer.

DeAngelo has already pleaded guilty to several of the counts against him.

2:03 p.m. ET, June 29, 2020

Why there are prosecutors from 6 counties at today's hearing

The suspected Golden State Killer suspect is appearing before a judge today, and while he faces 13 counts of first-degree murder for crimes in several countries across California, it's happening at a single hearing.

In 2018, prosecutors from Sacramento, Contra Costa, Orange, Santa Barbara, Tulare and Ventura counties filed 26 charges against Joseph James DeAngelo and consolidated the cases against him.

"We are unified, and we are committed to delivering justice to the victims of the Golden State Killer and their loved ones, who for far too long have had justice elude them," Ventura County District Attorney Gregory Totten told reporters at the time of consolidation.

At today's hearing, each prosecutor will detail the crimes DeAngelo committed in their counties before asking for his plea. Prosecutors from Tulare, Santa Barbara and Ventura have all already presented their cases, and DeAngelo has uttered “guilty” or “I admit."

The hearing is on a short break now, but other prosecutors will continue to describe the crimes from their communities when it resumes.

All of the prosecutors are expected to hold a news conference later today.

1:52 p.m. ET, June 29, 2020

The hearing is on a short break

Today's hearing for Golden State Killer suspect Joseph James DeAngelo just went into a recess in Sacramento.

The judge, lawyers and DeAngelo are expected to resume the hearing in about half an hour, around 2:15 p.m. ET or 11:15 a.m. PT.

DeAngelo has already pleaded guilty to some of the charges against him, and prosectors are working their way through the extensive list of charges.

By the end of today's hearing, DeAngelo is expected to plead guilty to all of the charges, including counts of murder, rape and kidnapping.