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GSK Suspect's Lawyers Ask Court For More Resources In Case They Call A 'David vs. Goliath' Fight

The Sacramento County Public Defender’s Office argues it has been outspent and outnumbered by prosecutors in the case against Joseph DeAngelo.

By Connor Mannion

The man suspected of being the Golden State Killer, the serial murderer who terrorized California for decades, now wants more lawyers and more investigators to help bolster his defense.

Defense attorneys for Joseph DeAngelo, who faces 13 counts of murder and 13 counts of robbery linked to a series of killings from 1974 through 1986, are asking the Santa Barbara Superior Court for more resources to represent him, the Sacramento Bee reported

“The cost of defense has been borne by the Sacramento County Public Defender’s Office alone,” DeAngelo’s defense team argued in its filing to the court late last week, according to the Bee. “Without additional assistance, Mr. DeAngelo will not have constitutionally adequate counsel.”

The office is asking for the court to appoint defense attorneys and investigators from other California counties to help with the massive amount of casework in a trial that the public defenders contend could take years.

“This is a case of unprecedented magnitude. Such an amassing of resources by the prosecution from other counties has never been seen in the prosecution of a single defendant in a single county,” the attorneys wrote. “This would be a true ‘David versus Goliath’ story except in this version, David has no stone and he is bound tightly by his own sling. The mismatch in this case is absurd.”

DeAngelo, a 74-year-old former police officer, was arrested in April 2018 after genetic analysis pointed to him as a suspect in a string of rapes and murders in numerous California jurisdictions during the '70s and '80s. Prosecutors are also apparently seeking more DNA from DeAngelo for an upcoming hearing, which his defense team is fighting by saying the warrant for DeAngelo's DNA was served with "extraordinarily short notice."

The judge in the case had previously set a date for a preliminary hearing on May 12, arguing many of the potential witnesses in the case are very old and may not be available if the case is further delayed.

“People are not going to live forever, and it’s not the people’s fault that these crimes were committed so long ago,” Superior Court Judge Steve White said, according to the Bee.

Defense attorneys had requested to push the preliminary hearing into next year, arguing they needed the time to pore over hundreds of thousands of pages of evidence, including DNA evidence.

Applause broke out in the courtroom after White rejected the motion to delay the trial during a January hearing. 

“This is January, and you are requesting to go to basically January of next year and have the preliminary hearing in 2021,” White previously said. “The people’s concern is very, very legitimate in terms of exigencies of mortality."

DeAngelo faces a possible death sentence if he is convicted.