Cost Of Trial For Alleged 'Golden State Killer' Causes Concern

Jenna Lane
December 07, 2018 - 3:57 pm

Prosecutors in Sacramento are seeking taxpayer assistance from across California to cover the cost of the upcoming trial of an accused serial killer.

A new estimate from county officials predicts that it will cost $20 million for the trial of Joseph DeAngelo, 73, a former police officer who's been dubbed Golden State Killer for 13 murders dating back to the mid-1970s. 

Sacramento County prosecutors recently asked state officials to share in the expense of the trial.

"While the current estimate is more than $20 million, it is impossible at this point to accurately estimate all costs. We anticipate the complexities of the case, including 40 years of evidence, to greatly affect the final cost," said Natasha Drane of the county's office of Governmental Relations and Legislation, according to the Associated Press.

The price tag for the case combined with DeAngelo's advanced age and the likely lengthy trial should lead to a plea deal, according to Michael Cardoza, a former prosecutor now practicing criminal defense.

"Assuming he's convicted, he's going to die of natural causes in a state prison," Cardoza said. 

There are 26 charges against DeAngelo from crimes allegedly committed across six counties.

A plea deal would still allow victims and their families to make statements in court, Cardoza said. 

"They want their day in court, they want to be heard," he said. "They will be able to do victim impact statements at the sentencing. 

Written by Arooba Kazmi.