The lawyer for East Area Rapist suspect Joseph James DeAngelo is trying to stop law enforcement from collecting more DNA from her client and from taking photographs of him, including his penis, according to court documents.
Prosecutors received a sealed search warrant last Thursday signed by Sacramento Superior Court Judge Steve White allowing them to continue seeking major case fingerprints from DeAngelo as well as DNA and "photographs of Joseph DeAngelo's entire body, including his penis."
The request for such personal photographs may be related to clues issued by law enforcement during the 1970s and 1980s as they searched for an East Area Rapist suspect and publicized the notion that he was not well endowed, former Sacramento Sheriff John McGinness said.
McGinness, now a KFBK radio host, said he recalls hearing such clues being broadcast from law enforcement before he joined the department, and said whether that was true or simply a device to flush out a suspect was not clear.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
DeAngelo was back in court Wednesday morning for a brief motion hearing involving the search warrant along with his public defender, Diane Howard.
Prosecutors filed papers opposing Howard's motion, saying that sheriff's deputies planned to take DeAngelo's photos and obtain DNA Wednesday afternoon in the jail.
That was not expected to happen Wednesday, however, because the judge in the case did not rule on the motion.
Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael Sweet, who did not allow cameras in the courtroom, said at a brief hearing Wednesday morning that he needs more time to review the request and put the matter over to 8:30 a.m. Thursday.
Prosecutors said in court papers that they have "a valid search warrant" and that Howard's motion to stop them must first be heard by the judge who signed the warrant: White.
Judge Sweet said he would consider that issue before ruling Thursday.
Prosecutors also argued in court papers that their plan to take DNA and photographs would not require DeAngelo to say anything about the case as they proceed.
"In the present case, obtaining the defendant's major case prints and his DNA sample does not require him to speak or say even a word," deputy district attorneys Thienvu Ho and Amy Holliday wrote. "Likewise, taking photographs of his person does not require the defendant to share his thoughts and beliefs with law enforcement."
DeAngelo, 72, appeared in court in a wheelchair again, as he did for his first court appearance Friday in the case. In Wednesday’s hearing, he appeared more alert than on Friday, when he could barely be heard as he whispered answers to the judge, but he did not speak and was wheeled out of court with his lawyer.
DeAngelo, who is being held in the Sacramento County Main Jail without bail, is expected to face a total of 12 murder charges from Sacramento, Orange, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties in connection with a 44-year-old crime spree.
DeAngelo, a former police officer and mechanic who was arrested a week ago at his Citrus Heights home, has not yet entered a plea in the case and is due for another court hearing May 14.
DeAngelo is suspected of being the man who terrorized California with a series of rapes, murders and burglaries attributed at the time to suspects known as the East Area Rapist in Sacramento, the Original Night Stalker, the Visalia Ransacker and the Golden State Killer.
He faces two murder counts in Sacramento in connection with the Feb. 2, 1978, slayings of Katie and Brian Maggiore in Rancho Cordova.
The young couple were walking their dog when they were confronted by a man who chased and shot them both to death.