Judge weighs release of warrants in Golden State Killer case
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A judge on Tuesday weighed how much information to release about the arrest of a former police officer accused of being the Golden State Killer.
Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Michael Sweet began considering the issue after a hearing where attorneys for suspect Joseph DeAngelo argued that sharing the details could lead to an unfair trial.
Sweet indicated he’s likely to release some information and is working with prosecutors and defense attorneys to determine how much to redact, which would continue to shield some details from public view.
The Associated Press and other news outlets are pushing for information from search and arrest warrants to be made public.
Transparency helps the public act as a check on the legal process and ensures investigators are acting appropriately, said Duffy Carolan, a lawyer for the news outlets.
“The press, the public and the victims deserve open proceedings,” she argued.
Authorities arrested Joseph DeAngelo, 72, in April and said he is responsible for at least a dozen killings and roughly 50 rapes in the 1970s and ’80s. Investigators have searched his home in Citrus Heights, California, his computer and his cellphone.
Defense attorneys said the warrants include information about other allegations against DeAngelo that can no longer be tried, as well as details on evidence and methods.
Making that information public could taint jurors and witnesses, defense lawyer David Lynch said.
“We have witnesses to events decades ago. Fading memories are going to be a huge issue in this case,” he said.
Prosecutors did not object to the release of the documents but want to shield some information, including investigatory techniques and victim and witness identities.