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Golden State Killer Suspect Expected To Plead Guilty To Murder To Avoid Death Penalty
Joseph DeAngelo, a former police officer, has reportedly agreed to plead guilty to 13 murders.
The elderly man who prosecutors say terrorized California as the Golden State Killer is expected to admit he committed over a dozen murders in a bid to avoid a death sentence, according to new reports.
Joseph DeAngelo Jr., 74, is set to admit to 13 murders and 13 kidnapping charges linked to rapes in a Sacramento County courtroom on June 29, according to The Los Angeles Times. The former police officer has also agreed to admit to a large number of crimes for which he is not charged — including a number of rapes — for which the statute of limitations has expired.
DeAngelo will plead guilty to a total of 88 charges — including charges of rape and murder, according to the Sacramento Bee. Details of the agreement — which has not been formalized in court documents — still are being finalized, according to the Bee and the Times.
The tentative agreement could also be thrown off due to DeAngelo's "unpredictable" nature, the Sacramento Bee reported.
In return for the plea, DeAngelo is reportedly expected to receive a life sentence and avoid the death penalty.
DeAngelo, a former Auburn police officer, was arrested in April 2018 after a decades-long search for a suspect in a grisly series of rapes and murders from 1974 through 1986. The Golden State Killer is believed to be responsible for at least 50 rapes and 13 murders in six California jurisdictions in all.
It was previously reported in March that DeAngelo was interested in pleading guilty if he could avoid a death sentence and a lengthy trial. The trial itself was expected to be complicated and costly with more than 100 witnesses and an estimated cost to taxpayers of around $20 million.
The news of DeAngelo's potential guilty plea comes as HBO is set to release a docuseries called "I'll Be Gone in the Dark," on the late author Michelle McNamara's search for the Golden State Killer.