SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — The Sacramento County Superior Court confirmed Thursday that Joseph DeAngelo’s latest hearing will take place on the Sacramento State campus.
“It might be the biggest trial I think in history,” explained Sacramento-area attorney Mark Reichel.
DeAngelo’s name strikes a chord with people all across Northern California.
“Anybody in Sacramento from the 1980s to present day knows the phrase the East Area Rapist,” Reichel said.
DeAngelo is accused of terrorizing women in the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s. He was arrested in 2018 after spending years undetected.
Reichel said the location of the upcoming hearing is a bit unusual.
“To have it heard somewhere like Sac State at the ballroom, which is where it’s going to be at now, is truly unique,” he told FOX40.
Dozens of victims and family members are expected to be in attendance. It’s something Reichel said may have prompted the decision to move to a larger venue.
“I think this is driven by the COVID epidemic,” Reichel said. “Normally, I think they would just allow so many people in the courtroom and maybe have an overflow in the hallway or something with closed-circuit TV.”
At the hearing scheduled for Monday at 9:30 a.m., prosecutors are expected to strike a plea deal to avoid the death penalty.
Back in 2019, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order placing a moratorium on the death penalty in the state of California.
“It’s possible the next governor wouldn’t impose it,” Reichel said. “The likelihood that he’s actually going to receive the execution of the death penalty is so remote.”
After years of waiting for answers and justice, Reichel said this latest hearing may bring closure for everyone following the Golden State Killer case throughout the years.
“Now we have a guilty plea, I think that’s what’s going to happen,” he said. “Now we have a guilty plea, we have a guilty finding. No more trial, no more guessing, no more speculation, no more fighting, and that type of finality is probably good for everyone.”
FOX40 has been told Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert, as well as several other district attorneys from around the state, are expected to make an announcement during a press conference scheduled immediately after the hearing.