District Attorney Diana Becton announced Tuesday that Contra Costa County will officially file four felony kidnapping charges against accused East Area Rapist/Golden State Killer Joseph DeAngelo, two of which are for incidents that occurred in the San Ramon Valley.
As a part of the 26 felony charges levied against DeAngelo from counties across the state, the accused killer has been charged with four cases of kidnap and robbery from Contra Costa County, one from Danville, one from San Ramon, one from Walnut Creek and one from Concord.
DeAngelo served as a police officer at two Californian law enforcement agencies from 1973-79, during the early days of the Golden State Killer's crime spree.
In total, the 72-year-old DeAngelo is being charged with 13 felony counts of murder and 13 felony counts of kidnapping to commit robbery. Details added to those charges that will potentially increase his sentencing include: multiple murders, murder during the commission of rape, robbery, and burglary and personal use of a firearm. He faces a minimum sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole.
These charges were announced Tuesday morning during a joint press conference with the district attornies from Sacramento, Orange, Ventura, Santa Barbara, Tulare and Contra Costa counties, held in Santa Ana.
“The horrific crimes committed by Joseph DeAngelo terrorized the victims and residents of Contra Costa County. For decades he evaded justice and devastated communities across California. Today, I am pleased to announce that four Contra Costa County cases are filed in Sacramento County. As we take another step today toward justice, our office will continue to support the victims and their families through this difficult time,” Becton said during the press conference.
Becton added that two of the four Contra Costa County cases have DNA evidence supporting them.
While the Golden State Killer has been accused of committing nine rapes in Contra Costa County -- five of which occurred in the San Ramon Valley -- the DA’s Office is pursuing kidnapping charges and not rape due to the statute of limitations running out on the crimes. Adding further complications, in the 70s the charge of kidnapping during the commission of rape was not yet a criminal charge.
The Contra Costa DA’s Office is still investigating the possibility of adding one additional crime to the list levied against DeAngelo, four of these cases have been set aside due to a lack of evidence.
At Tuesday's press conference Orange County DA Tony Rackauckas, told attendees that law enforcement teams across the state continue to investigate DeAngelo and his alleged crimes.
“We are not done with the investigation," Rackauckas said. "We all still have a large team working on the case, we are still looking at evidence of things that have happened in different parts of the state. I cannot rule out the possibility that there could be other charges filed.”
Becton added that survivors of the Golden State Killer's crimes have been contacted by her office prior to the announcement.
Due to the large number of charges being filed, and the potential for more added on top, DeAngelo is eligible to receive the death penalty. If that decision were to be made, he would be the first prisoner executed in California since 2006.
The Golden State Killer is infamous for allegedly committing 51 rapes and 12 murders across 10 different California counties between 1976 and 1986. Charges may not have been filed for some of these cases due to a lack of evidence.
DeAngelo was arrested April 24 in his Sacramento home, after authorities made a break in the 42-year-old case by connecting his DNA to a past crime.
He is expected to appear in Sacramento County for his arraignment on Thursday at 1:30 p.m. in Department 61 at the Sacramento County Superior Court.