SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Sources close to the investigation told FOX40 that Joseph DeAngelo, the suspected East Area Rapist, will plead guilty to 88 murder, rape and other charges to avoid a death penalty trial.
A life sentence would be imposed instead.
A hearing is scheduled for Monday, June 29, in which dozens of victims and their family members are expected to be present.
Details of the agreement have not been formalized in any court filing and are still being worked out.
But the source told FOX40 that DeAngelo will “admit guilt” in 62 charges, which include rapes that were past the statute of limitations.
From Hawaii to Maryland, retired FBI Agent Russ Oase and the original investigator on the East Area Rapist case, Detective Richard Shelby, chased down countless leads In pursuit of finding the notorious suspect.
What Oase found particularly disturbing were the violent sexual assaults.
“The rapist intimidated Sacramento,” Oase said. “Everybody was in fear during that time.”
Oase said he personally believes DeAngelo’s expected guilty plea will be enough for the family members of his many victims.
“But he has to admit to give every crime that he’s committed, every rape, every murder, and he has to cop-out to every one of them. If he misses one, then deal’s over.”
Family members FOX40 contacted were not ready to comment on the plea deal.
FOX40 also reached out to District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert, who said she would not comment at this time because the case is still pending. However, her office released a statement, which reads in part:
Victims and their loved ones have a right to be heard, and all six District Attorney’s Offices involved in the prosecution of People v. DeAngelo are working closely with the victims in this case to ensure their statements are considered by the Court prior to sentencing.
We have a moral and ethical responsibility to consider any offer from the defense, given the massive scope of the case, the advanced age of many of the victims and witnesses, and our inherent obligations to the victims.Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office
Agent Oase said even if a death penalty was handed down in DeAngelo’s case, it would take decades before it was carried out.
“He’s going to be at the gates of hell before anything happens in the courts,” he said.
DeAngelo’s expected plea was first reported by The Sacramento Bee.