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Attorney for suspect in Golden State Killer case fights release of search warrant findings


© AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli Diane Howard, the public defender for Golden State Killer suspect Joseph DeAngelo arrives for court for a…

By Paige St. John, Los Angeles Times

The defense attorney for Joseph James DeAngelo Jr., the suspect in the Golden State Killer case, fought on Monday against the release of case documents sought by the Los Angeles Times and other media organizations.

DeAngelo, 72, appeared in court for Monday’s brief hearing, walking in on his own power and standing in a barred holding cage before the judge. In past hearings, DeAngelo was rolled into court in a wheelchair.

DeAngelo’s public defender sought to keep sealed the records that led to his arrest or delay their release until her office receives a complete list of what police took in their search. The prosecutors’ office turned over a list on Monday — but it lacks information on what investigators found on DeAngelo’s cellphone and computer.

The warrant and accompanying documents — including a statement by investigators explaining why they believe DeAngelo is behind at least 12 killings, dozens of rapes and more than 100 burglaries across the state — could shed light on how exactly investigators honed in on him as a suspect using DNA from a decades-old arrest case and a genealogy website.

The innovative strategy of using consumer genealogy websites for criminal investigations is fraught with questions about privacy and civil liberties. Sacramento County Dist. Atty. Anne Marie Schubert has set precedent in using DNA to identify criminal subjects in the past. She was responsible for what became known as the “John Doe warrant,” which sought evidence from an unnamed suspect based on his DNA.

Judge Michael Sweet said he would revisit unsealing the warrant on May 29. Ordinarily, search warrants become public record within days of their execution.

DeAngelo is charged with the shooting deaths of two people in Sacramento and 10 more counts of murder in three other counties as part of a 1980s series of crimes attributed to a man known as the East Area Rapist and the Original Night Stalker.

In addition, investigators believe DeAngelo was responsible for a crime wave in Visalia that involved dozens of home burglaries, assaults and one killing. Authorities say DeAngelo may have begun his criminal activity as a cat burglar in Rancho Cordova in the early 1970s.

DeAngelo worked as a police officer for small towns in California until 1979, when he was fired in Auburn for shoplifting a hammer and dog repellent. He then worked for decades as a truck mechanic, living in a suburb north of Sacramento and communities that had been terrified by rapes and murders now attributed to the Golden State Killer.

On Friday, prosecutors from Sacramento, Ventura, Orange and Santa Barbara counties met to discuss where and how to put DeAngelo on trial for the slayings since the crimes cover multiple jurisdictions. No decision was made.


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U.S. - U.S. Daily News: Attorney for suspect in Golden State Killer case fights release of search warrant findings
Attorney for suspect in Golden State Killer case fights release of search warrant findings
U.S. - U.S. Daily News
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