SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The defense attorneys who have represented Joseph DeAngelo, the confessed Golden State Killer, spoke about the historic case with CBS13 Friday.
Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Michael Bowman sentenced DeAngelo under a plea deal that called for 11 consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole, plus 15 life terms with the possibility of parole and eight years for other enhancements.
DeAngelo’s defense attorneys Joe Cress and Alice Michael sat by their client’s side through this week’s sentencing hearings.
“He sat there and listened to every victim. He was called a lot of names. ‘Monsters go to hell.’ We absolutely understand where that comes from,” Michael said.
DeAngelo’s defense team went up against district attorneys representing victims from all over California.
“The district attorneys have heavily pushed the idea that he has been trying to make himself appear feeble in court,” Michael said.
Michael said her client did not ask to show up to court in a wheelchair, but it was forced on him.
“He is not the one who chooses to come into court in a wheelchair. That is the sheriff’s department. They often have his legs and his hands shackled,” she said.
But after the video of an active DeAngelo in his Sacramento County Jail cell surfaced, some are wondering if he was faking his health for sympathy.
“I think the idea that he was trying to portray himself as feeble is part of a DA narrative that isn’t fair,” Michael said.
After a two-year-long relationship with DeAngelo, the defense team is relieved the trial is over for both their client and the people he hurt.
“I continue to feel an enormous sense of sadness. These were horrific crimes and that 13 people died and I don’t ever forget that,” Cress said.
Though he’s been sentenced to prison, DeAngelo is still being held at the Sacramento County Jail. It’s unclear when he will be transferred if at all due to the pandemic. State prisons may be reluctant to take him in.