The Golden State Killer is a serial killer, rapist, and burglar who committed at least 13 murders, more than 50 rapes, and over 100 burglaries in California from 1974 to 1986; cannot afford a private attorney and would, therefore, keep a public defender in a case expected to cost taxpayers $20 million.
73-year-old U.S. Navy veteran and former police officer Joseph James DeAngelo is facing 26 murder and kidnapping charges.
the serial killer could be required to reimburse the county to the extent he is able after the trial, Judge Michael Sweet said in Sacramento Superior Court.
Sacramento County has asked the state to pick up the cost of prosecuting and defending DeAngelo, a county official said Wednesday.
Diane Howard, the public defender who has represented him since his arrest, did not comment after Thursday's hearing. She represented DeAngelo in court alongside two other defense attorneys.
Prosecutors from all six California counties where DeAngelo was charged — Sacramento, Santa Barbara, Orange, Ventura, Tulare, and Contra Costa — appeared in court, The parties are next due in court April 10.
Howard submitted a sealed affidavit detailing DeAngelo's economic situation that Sweet used to make his determination.
DNA evidence links the Golden State Killer to eight murders in Goleta, Ventura, Dana Point, and Irvine; two other murders in Goleta, lacking DNA evidence, are linked by modus operandi.
Investigators suspect the same killer in three other murders: two in Rancho Cordova and one in Visalia. The offender also committed more than 50 known rapes in the California counties of Sacramento, Contra Costa, Stanislaus, San Joaquin, Alameda, Santa Clara, and Yolo, in addition to hundreds of incidents of burglaries, peeping, stalking and prowling.