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The wife of the suspected Golden State Killer Joseph DeAngelo has filed for divorce, more than two decades after the pair separated.
Sharon Huddle filed for divorce from the 73-year-old DeAngelo, who has been charged with 26 counts of murder and kidnapping, in July of last year in Placer County, according to court documents obtained by Sacramento news station KOVR.
The filing could have significant implications for DeAngelo’s upcoming trial and could pave the way for her to testify about what she observed during their marriage.
DeAngelo and Huddle were married in 1973 and spent nearly two decades living together, although reportedly in separate bedrooms, before the pair separated in 1991. They were married just before the East Area Rapist began a string of terrifying attacks, now believed to have been committed by DeAngelo, on the community.
Despite the couple’s lengthy separation, they had never divorced.
Now the new development could have a significant impact on DeAngelo’s trial.
If the couple were married, DeAngelo’s defense team could have stopped her from testifying, but if they are divorced she will be permitted to testify, although with certain stipulations.
"The DA's office can subpoena her. She loses her right to say no," attorney Mark Reichel told KTXL. "She can't talk about communications but she can talk about observations. 'He wasn't home this night. This night he came home with these clothes. This night he took the truck.'"
This could open a “treasure trove” of information to the prosecution, Reichel said.
“She can really be a domestic diary of daily activities of this person,” he said.
Huddle, who is a divorce attorney, has stayed out of the spotlight since her estranged husband’s arrest except for a statement she released in June asking for privacy.
“My thoughts and prayers are for the victims and their families," she said, according to The Sacramento Bee. "The press has relentlessly pursued interviews of me. I will not be giving any interviews for the foreseeable future. I ask the press to please respect my privacy and that of my children.”
Jim Stancil, who grew up near the DeAngelo family, described Huddle in the Oxygen special “Golden State Killer: Main Suspect,” as polite.
“From what I saw there was not a whole lot of interaction [between DeAngelo and Huddle],” he said.
DeAngelo’s trial could bring new insight into the pair’s marriage and life together.
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