SACRAMENTO (CBS SF/AP) — The man accused of being the infamous Golden State Killer was back in a Sacramento county courtroom Thursday afternoon for a brief hearing.

Judge Michael Sweet noted that the charges 73-year-old Joseph DeAngelo are so extensive, the trial last a decade. He ruled that the defendant could not pay for a private attorney and that taxpayers would have to pay for DeAngelo’s defense.

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The cost of defending DeAngelo could cost up to $20 million.


The 73-year-old former ex-cop faces dozens of charges for alleged crimes committed across six counties.

DeAngelo stood in an orange jumpsuit inside a courtroom cage.  His face was gaunt and he looked much thinner than he did during in his last court appearance several months ago. He was arrest in April.

Authorities believe he committed 13 murders and more than 50 rapes in the 1970s and 80s spanning six California counties. The rape cases happened too long ago to be prosecuted, so prosecutors brought 13 related kidnapping counts.

DeAngelo has not entered a plea.

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Diane Howard, the public defender who has represented him since his arrest, did not comment after Thursday’s hearing. She represented DeAngelo in court alongside two other defense attorneys.

Howard did ask the judge to block the media from covering the case, but Sweet said no, as he has in previous hearings.

Prosecutors from all six California counties where DeAngelo was charged — Sacramento, Santa Barbara, Orange, Ventura, Tulare and Contra Costa — appeared in court.

The parties are next due in court April 10.

Howard submitted a sealed affidavit detailing DeAngelo’s economic situation that Sweet used to make his determination.

The search for the serial killer, known by nicknames such as the East Area Rapist and the Golden State Killer, vexed authorities for decades and left victims’ families without answers. Finally in early 2018 investigators used DNA and a genealogical website to identify and arrest DeAngelo.

The serial killer would monitor suburban neighborhoods and sneak into homes at night, authorities said. If a couple was home, he would tie up the man, place dishes on his back and threaten to kill both victims if he heard the plates fall onto the floor while he raped the woman.

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© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.