Suspected Golden State Killer appears in court
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Joseph James DeAngelo, the suspected Golden State Killer, appeared in court Monday for murder charges he faces from the deaths of a Sacramento-area couple in 1978.
A Sacramento judge issued a continuance of the hearing until May 29 regarding unsealing search warrants in DeAngelo’s arrest. No cameras were allowed in court.
The judge had been expected to hear arguments regarding motions from news outlets that have petitioned for the release of the search warrant affidavit, which is sealed.
Police believe the Maggiores — who were walking their dog at the time — were killed after they spotted him near a home in Rancho Cordova, California, outside Sacramento. The complaint alleges that DeAngelo shot the couple using an “unknown caliber firearm.”
DeAngelo appeared in court in late April in a wheelchair, but didn’t enter a plea to the murder charges of the Maggiores during last months’ court hearing.
Authorities have said they believe the Golden State Killer was responsible for killing a dozen people and for at least 50 rapes in 10 counties in California between 1976 and 1986. For more than 40 years, investigators had been hunting for the man responsible for dozens of these crimes.
Decades after the killings terrified communities throughout California, authorities tracked down the suspect using data from an ancestry website where people submit their DNA results in hopes of tracking down relatives and ancestors.
DNA from a crime scene was matched to genetic material from a relative who was registered on genealogy sites, and authorities later obtained a discarded sample of DeAngelo’s DNA.
DeAngelo, a former police officer, Vietnam veteran and a mechanic, was a reclusive neighbor in Citrus Heights, a town about 16 miles northeast of Sacramento, according to residents.