Crime

Golden State Killer suspect faces new murder charges, this time in Santa Barbara County

Joseph DeAngelo, 72, appears with Public Defender Diane Howard as he is arraigned at the Sacramento County Jail on Friday, April 27, in Sacramento. On May 10, Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley announced that her office is filing four charges of first-degree murder against DeAngelo, for murders committed in the area in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Joseph DeAngelo, 72, appears with Public Defender Diane Howard as he is arraigned at the Sacramento County Jail on Friday, April 27, in Sacramento. On May 10, Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley announced that her office is filing four charges of first-degree murder against DeAngelo, for murders committed in the area in the late 1970s and early 1980s. rpench@sacbee.com

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley announced Thursday that her office has filed charges against Joseph James DeAngelo, the suspected Golden State Killer, for four murders committed in the Goleta area in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Dudley announced that DeAngelo is facing four charges of first-degree murder with special circumstances for the 1979 murders of Robert Offerman and Debra Manning and the 1981 murders of Cheri Domingo and Greg Sanchez.

"Each count carries multiple allegations," Dudley said. "Each of the four counts carry the potential for life without the possibility of parole or the death sentence."

Authorities believe the Golden State Killer first struck the Goleta area in October 1979, when he attacked a couple asleep in their home. The victims escaped, and the suspect fled on a stolen bicycle.

Two months later, Offerman, 44, and Manning, 35, were murdered in their condo near Goleta.

And in July 1981, Sanchez, 27, and Domingo, 35, were found murdered in a home near Goleta where Domingo was housesitting. In 2011, DNA evidence linked the double homicide to other Golden State Killer crimes.

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Law enforcement authorities believe Joseph James DeAngelo is the East Area Rapist, also known as the Golden State Killer, Visalia Ransacker and Original Night Stalker. He is expected to face 12 murder counts.

There's currently no scheduled date for DeAngelo to appear in Santa Barbara County court, Dudley said.

"Mr. DeAngelo is presently in custody in Sacramento," she said. "Ventura and Orange County have warrants out for his arrest for murder."

Dudley added that she will be meeting with other district attorneys Friday to discuss the issue.

"This has been an ongoing discussion all district attorneys have been having, one that will not be decided tomorrow," Dudley said Thursday. "Therefore, Mr. DeAngelo will remain in custody in Sacramento, and we will not be making any further comments today or tomorrow."

The Golden State Killer received the moniker because he traveled the state of California in the 1970s and 1980s, killing at least 12 people, raping at least 45 and burglarizing hundreds of homes. The killer is also known as the East Area Rapist, the Original Night Stalker, the Diamond Knot Killer and the Visalia Ransacker.

DeAngelo surfaced as the suspected killer last month, when authorities matched DNA evidence from one of the old crimes to DeAngelo. He had not previously been connected to any of the crimes.

When DeAngelo's arrest was announced in April, Debbi Domingo, the daughter of Cheri Domingo, said she "thought it was too good to be true."

"The sense of relief is overwhelming and it's wonderful," she told Noozhawk.com, a Santa Barbara County news website, at the time. "I've spent over two-thirds of my life wondering if we would ever get answers."

Tribune reporter Lindsey Holden contributed to this report.

Sheriff Scott Jones talks to The Bee's Sam Stanton about the investigation and arrest of suspected East Area Rapist.



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