Golden State Killer suspect pleads guilty

Golden State Killer suspect pleads guilty

Joseph DeAngelo, who was arrested in 2018 on suspicion of being the so-called Golden State Killer, agreed Monday to plead guilty to 13 counts of first-degree murder.

Sacramento County Deputy District Attorney Amy Holliday said Monday that in exchange for the guilty plea, DeAngelo will not face the death penalty and will serve life without parole, according to ABC News.

The deal will "allow the remaining victims and family members ... to hear the defendant admit that he committed these acts," Holliday said, according to the network.

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DeAngelo, 74, allegedly murdered 13 people up and down the state along with an alleged string of rapes and burglaries during the 1970s, when he was a police officer, and in the 1980s after being fired from the police force.

DeAngelo made his appearance in a ballroom at California State University–Sacramento, selected to allow the more than 150 victims and relatives present to practice social distancing, according to the Sacramento Bee.

In addition to the 13 counts of murder, DeAngelo pleaded guilty to 13 counts of kidnapping for robbery across six counties. Prosecutors also believe DeAngelo to have committed over 60 rapes, but did not try him on those charges as the statute of limitations has expired, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

After the crimes went unsolved for decades, DeAngelo was arrested in 2018 after a relative voluntarily submitted their DNA to a public genealogy database, with investigators eventually obtaining DeAngelo’s own DNA and finding a match to multiple crime scenes.

DeAngelo was the first publicly-known arrest made as a result of so-called genetic genealogy, but at least 150 suspects have been identified with the technique in the meantime, according to ABC.

There's "no such thing as closure. It’s a lifelong process,” Debbi Domingo McMullan, the daughter of one of the Golden State Killer's victims, told ABC News. "We’ve served time all these years, now it’s his turn to serve time.”