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Four counties seek death penalty against alleged Golden State Killer

By Daniel Uria
Four counties seek death penalty against alleged Golden State Killer
Four California counties sought the death penalty against Joseph James DeAngelo, accused of being the so-called East Area Rapist, Golden State Killer and Original Night Stalker. File Photo courtesy of the Sacramento County Sheriff's Office

April 10 (UPI) -- Prosecutors from four California counties unanimously decided Wednesday to seek the death penalty against the man accused of being the Golden State Killer and the East Area Rapist.

District attorneys from six counties where 73-year-old Joseph DeAngelo's crimes allegedly took place met as part of a death review protocol and all of those in counties where he was eligible for capital punishment voted to pursue the death penalty.

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"The four jurisdictions with special circumstance allegations -- Sacramento, Santa Barbara, Orange and Ventura -- unanimously concluded to seek the death penalty in this case," the Sacramento District Attorney's Office said in a statement. "There will be no further comment."

DeAngelo faces 13 counts of murder and 13 counts of kidnapping for robbery in the six counties for his alleged actions between 1975 and 1986.

DeAngelo has yet to enter a plea and his trial isn't expected to take place for several years.

Public defender Diane Howard, DeAngelo's attorney, told the Sacramento Bee seeking the death penalty against a 73-year-old man "does not further justice and is wasteful."

California hasn't executed anyone since 2006 and Gov. Gavin Newsom singed an executive order in March halting all executions in the state.

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Ron Harrington, whose brother Keith and sister-in-law Patty were killed by the Golden State Killer, said he was "thrilled" by the ruling.

"The Golden State Killer is the worst of the worst: 13 murders, 50-plus rapes. He is the most prolific murderer-rapist not only in California, but the United States," he said.

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