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‘Golden State Killer’ Apologizes, Then Court Erupts in Applause When Judge Declares ‘No Mercy’ (WATCH)


Joseph James DeAngelo, known as the “Golden State Killer,” said during his formal sentencing on Friday he was sorry for the people he hurt. The survivors, and family members did not get a chance to respond to this with a verbal statement in court, but maybe they didn’t need to. The audience erupted in applause when Judge Michael Bowman said the defendant “deserves no mercy.”

DeAngelo, 74, pleaded guilty in June, and admitted he was behind a prolific, heinous crime spree in California from the 1970s and the 1980s. As part of the deal, he was spared the death penalty, which would’ve been moot anyway since the state currently has a moratorium on capital punishment.

The defendant murdered Claude SnellingKatie MaggioreBrian MaggioreDebra Alexandra ManningRobert OffermanCheri DomingoGregory SanchezCharlene SmithLyman SmithPatrice HarringtonKeith HarringtonManuela Witthuhn, and Janelle Cruz.

Friday marked the end of four-day sentencing hearing. Survivors and family members of the victims verbally pummeled DeAngelo.

“He truly is an evil monster with no soul,” said rape survivor Patricia Murphy in a statement read by her daughter in court on Tuesday.

The defendant’s M.O., often, was to ambush people. If there was more than one person, he would put dishes on one of their backs as a so-called alarm system. He gave them an ultimatum: move or he would kill them. It was not uncommon for him to target a couple. He would put the dishes on the man’s back, and he would then rape the woman. A number of survivors reported getting harassing phone calls in the time after the crime.

DeAngelo, a former police officer, often appeared unresponsive and frail in his court appearances before the sentencing. He did not look at rape survivor Jane Carson-Sandler when she demanded on Wednesday that he do so.

“I may have been a victim, but now I am a survivor,” said Carson-Sandler, a retired Air Force flight nurse who wrote a book about her harrowing experience.

DeAngelo only pleaded guilty to 13 counts of murder, and other charges, but prosecutors did not seek cases specific to the vast majority of crimes attributed to him: 50 rapes and more than 120 burglaries. Nonetheless, he admitted to uncharged crimes.

The defendant agreed to speak in court on Friday.

“I’ve listened to all your statements,” he said. “Each one of them, and I am truly sorry to everyone I’ve hurt.”

Judge Michael Bowman expressed no sympathy for the defendant in the formal sentencing, however. As part of the punishment, the defendant received 11 consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole, plus an additional life sentence, plus eight years.

“This is the absolute maximum sentence the court is able to impose under the law,” the judge said. “While the court has no power to make a determination of where the defendant is imprisoned, survivors have spoken clearly. The defendant deserves no mercy.”

Applause ensued.

[Screengrab via Law&Crime]

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