SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The prosecutor in the Golden State Killer and East Area Rapist case will not seek a grand jury indictment, instead opting for a preliminary hearing.
District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert spoke to CBS13 about the East Area Rapist case and said she has ruled out seeking a grand jury indictment.
“That’s not going to happen in this case,” Schubert said.
Prosecutors can use secret grand juries to get an indictment and send their cases to trial quickly. Schubert says she won’t take that route, because she wants to give witnesses in the EAR case the opportunity speak in open court now.
“You know, this case is 40 years old, so we’re going to do a preliminary hearing,” Schubert said.
Schubert says holding a preliminary hearing on the charges will give witnesses in the case the opportunity to sit in court across from their alleged attacker, Joseph DeAngelo, before the trial begins.
“Because with a grand jury the defense does not have the right to cross-examine witnesses, they’re not present,” Schubert said. “I have every expectation this will go to a preliminary hearing, where Mr. DeAngelo will be in a courtroom, and his lawyers will be there so we can call witnesses and they can be cross-examined in that courtroom.”
Schubert told CBS13 she has not decided whether to seek a plea deal in the case.
“That’s a question that’s too premature,” Schubert said.
Schubert says combining all the cases against DeAngelo across six California county into a single complaint in a Sacramento court has never happened before. She says prosecutors will not have trouble coordinating their cases.
“We live in a different world now,” Schubert said. “It’s a digital age, so I’m quite confident folks can work from their own counties together and still be on a team.”
This heinous statewide criminal case is now converging into a single Sacramento courtroom.
Schubert predicts it won’t be over anytime soon.
“It’s gonna take time,” Schubert said. “It’s not gonna be resolved in a trial that’s next year, or even two years is my prediction. It could be a number of years.”