Prosecutors from Sacramento and five other counties have scheduled an announcement in Orange County on Tuesday morning to cover developments in the East Area Rapist/Golden State Killer case that could include the filing of additional charges against suspect Joseph James DeAngelo.
The news conference, set for 11 a.m. at the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, is expected to include an announcement on where prosecutors want to hold the trial for DeAngelo, who currently faces 13 murder counts in Sacramento, Orange, Ventura, Santa Barbara and Tulare counties.
But the announcement Tuesday also includes Contra Costa District Attorney Diana Becton, whose jurisdiction does not include any homicides attributed to the East Area Rapist case. However, nine sexual assaults from October 1978 through July 1979 in Contra Costa County have been blamed on the East Area Rapist.
Becton spokesman Scott Alonso would not comment Monday on the Contra Costa role in Tuesday’s announcement, but officials have been working since DeAngelo’s arrest in April to determine how they might be able to file charges in such rape cases.
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DeAngelo’s arrest after more than four decades came through a DNA hit on a website that a DeAngelo relative had used. Authorities eventually were able to tie DNA evidence from some of the Southern California murders to DeAngelo after surreptitiously obtaining his DNA from his car handle while he was shopping and later from a beverage can he put in the trash outside his Citrus Heights home.
DeAngelo’s public defender, Diane Howard, declined to comment Monday.
DeAngelo is suspected in two murders in Sacramento, four in Orange County, four in Santa Barbara County and two in Ventura County. A 13th murder charge was filed a week ago in Tulare County, where authorities say his crime spree began as the “Visalia Ransacker” while he was a police officer in nearby Exeter.
From there, officials say, he moved on to the Sacramento area, where the East Area Rapist attacks began while he served as a police officer in Auburn. Eventually, the attacks intensified and spread to the Bay Area and Southern California before mysteriously halting in May 1986.