East Area Rapist Suspect Appears in Court in Wheelchair, Arraigned on Murder Charges

SACRAMENTO -- The man accused of being the Golden State Killer did not enter a plea during his first court appearance.

Joseph James DeAngelo was arraigned Friday in Sacramento County Superior Court on two counts of murder.

He was handcuffed in a wheelchair and five police officers surrounded him as he listened to the judge with his eyes barely open.

A court official read the details of the charges that DeAngelo is facing and a judge asked if he had a lawyer.

In a frail voice, DeAngelo responded, "I have a lawyer." An attorney from the public defender's office was with him in court.

DeAngelo appeared in a wheelchair and was wearing an orange jumpsuit.

He has been denied bail and is due back in court on May 11.

DeAngelo's next door neighbor in Citrus Heights said he seemed very fit for his age, and often spoke in a loud voice. His public defender would not comment on his physical health.

No matter his appearance, victims and family members of his victims are just glad to see him in custody.


"I look at him and the first thing that comes to mind is disgusting. I'm disgusted by him," explained Michelle Cruz,  sister of East Area Rapist's victim Janelle Cruz.

Janelle Cruz was the final victim, killed in Irvine in 1986.

For years, she dedicated herself to the search for answers about the man who killed her sister.

"Identifying the Golden State Killer was more important to me than the fear it took to do it," Michelle Cruz said.

For decades, he was a mysterious criminal hidden behind a mask. Now., the search is over and a new phase begins in the courtroom.

"Nothing is going to bring our family members back and how he messed up our psyches for so many years its not gonna fix that but its definitely satisfying knowing he will never walk free again," Michelle Cruz explained.