SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — East Area Rapist suspect Joseph DeAngelo made his first court appearance since August Thursday and his physical appearance took the courtroom by surprise.
It was a short hearing where the judge ruled that taxpayers will need to pay for DeAngelo’s defense, but the courtroom was focused on the suspect’s physical appearance. His face was gaunt-looking, much thinner than it was in his last appearance several months ago. In August many noted that he had lost weight since his arraignment back in April.
“He’s lost a lot of weight. He’s looking old and frail,” said East Area Rapist victim Victor Hayes.
Hayes says the East Area Rapist tied him up and raped his girlfriend. Now 40 years later, he hoped to see the former police officer in a different state.
“I kind of want him to go out as a lion instead of as a wimp,” Hayes said.
But Hayes was not surprised to hear the judge’s ruling, that 73-year-old DeAngelo can’t afford to pay for a private defense team.
DeAngelo listened closely as the judge once again read the heinous charges against him, which date back to 1976, including rapes, kidnappings, and murders.
The judge noted Thursday that the case is so extensive that it could last a decade, which means DeAngelo will not be able to afford his own private defense team.
But there’s one detail, Hayes may keep coming back for.
“Hoping he pleads and he starts talking,” he said.
This financial burden will be transferred to taxpayers to pay for DeAngelo’s Sacramento County public defender, Diane Howard.
Howard would not comment on the case Thursday. She did ask the judge to block media from covering the case, but he maintained his stance to allow media as he did in previous hearings, citing the public’s right to know.