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The Golden State Killer will be sentenced this week for his decades-spanning terrorization of California, but not before facing his many victims.
Joseph James DeAngelo Jr., 74, is expected to be sentenced to a lifetime behind bars without the possibility of parole. He dodged the death penalty when he admitted responsibility in June for 13 murders, almost 50 rapes, and dozens of home invasions between 1975 and 1986.
Throughout the years, his crimes were attributed to several shadowy figures — the East Area Rapist, Original Night Stalker, and the Visalia Ransacker. It would take decades for officials to link all his crimes together and for his true identity to be unveiled. DeAngelo, a former police officer, was finally arrested in April 2018, shortly after author Michelle McNamara and citizen detectives began shining a light on the case and after genetic analysis pointed to him as the main suspect.
This week, survivors of his spree and relatives of the victims he killed will have their chance to be heard. There will be three days worth of victim impact statements at the Schaber Courthouse in Sacramento, beginning Tuesday. The testimony is expected to go on for about eight hours on Tuesday and Thursday and for four hours on Wednesday. Survivors have prepared statements to be read aloud during the proceeding. (The hearing can be streamed here.)
Following the impact statements, DeAngelo will be sentenced Friday morning at the Sacramento State University ballroom, the same place he pleaded guilty to the crimes.
On Monday, a judge denied prosecutors’ request to play jailhouse recordings during Friday’s sentencing. The prosecutors say the footage portrays him moving about his cell easily, even athletically, the Sacramento Bee reports, belying the feeble and confused appearance he's maintained in court for the past two years.
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