The Golden State Killer suspect, who is accused of terrorizing California by murdering 13 people and raping 45 over a 10-year-period, has agreed to a guilty plea that spares him the death penalty, according to multiple reports.
On June 29, Joseph James DeAngelo, 74, will plead guilty to numerous charges against him and receive a life sentence in prison — but not the death penalty, the Los Angeles Times, the Sacramento Bee and the Associated Press report.
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The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office would not comment on the news of a plea.
Details of the agreement have not been released. Sources told the Bee the agreement is “still in the works.”
DeAngelo’s attorney told the newspaper a plea deal would give closure to the victims’ families.
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“We feel this is a just resolution of this case and that the resolution provides some finality and closure for the victims,” Sacramento County Supervising Assistant Public Defender Joseph Cress told the Bee Monday. “This also avoids the stress and financial costs of a lengthy trial.”
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DeAngelo has been in custody since his arrest in a Sacramento suburb in April 2018.
Also known as the East Area Rapist and the Original Night Stalker, the Golden State Killer is responsible for 13 murders, 45 sexual assaults and more than 120 burglaries across California — one of the longest and most vicious crime sprees in U.S. history.
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Over a 10-year-period — from 1976 to 1986 — the Golden State Killer was linked by DNA and method to 12 murders, 45 sexual assaults and more than 120 burglaries from Sacramento to southern California’s Orange County.
Sketches of the Golden State Killer
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A police source previously told PEOPLE the man was caught through “sophisticated” DNA analysis. Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones said in 2018 that before DeAngelo’s arrest, authorities surveilled him and recovered “discarded DNA” that allegedly confirmed the suspect’s connection to the killings.
The killer’s victims ranged in age from 13 to 41 and included women at home alone or with their children or husbands.