Accused serial killer's lawyer moves to halt search warrant

Posted at 4:03 PM, May 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-02 16:03:45-04

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The 72-year-old former police officer who authorities say is the Golden State Killer appeared in court Wednesday as his lawyer tried to limit additional evidence from being gathered.

Public defender Diane Howard wants to bar prosecutors from collecting DeAngelo's DNA and fingerprints and taking photos of his body, according to a motion she filed in Sacramento County Superior Court. The district attorney's office is fighting back, saying a judge has already approved a warrant seeking the evidence. Prosecutors initially planned to gather the evidence Wednesday afternoon.

But Superior Court Judge Michael Sweet delayed the hearing until Thursday after a brief court room appearance. DeAngelo, in an orange jumpsuit and handcuffed to a wheelchair, appeared alongside Howard.

Prosecutors arrested DeAngelo last week and said they used DNA to identify him as the killer responsible for at least a dozen murders and 50 rapes across California between 1976 and 1986. The case was cold for decades, and the killer was known by nicknames such as the East Area Rapist, the Original Night Stalker and, more recently, the Golden State Killer.

They obtained the warrant April 24, and prosecutors notified Howard of the DNA collection plans Monday, according to court filings.

The collection should be halted because the warrant was issued before DeAngelo's arrest and arraignment, and he now has new protections, Howard argued.

But Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said the original warrant should be honored. Taking photos and DNA samples is "not testimonial in nature" because it would not require DeAngelo to speak, she wrote.

The Associated Press and other news organizations on Tuesday filed a motion to unseal the full search and arrest warrants for DeAngelo, which could provide additional details about the DNA techniques prosecutors used to identify him.