Accused Golden State Killer arraigned in Sacramento

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Joseph DeAngelo stood silently as a Sacramento County judge read all 26 crimes he's charged with: 13 counts of murder and 13 counts of kidnapping to commit robbery.

The arraignment comes days after district attorneys from six California counties announced their filing of a joint felony complaint against DeAngelo, the accused Golden State Killer and Visalia Ransacker.

Jennifer Carole said being in the courtroom on Thursday was an intense experience. DeAngelo is charged with killing her father Lyman Smith and her stepmother Charlene Smith at their Ventura County home in 1980.

"I think the satisfaction came with the arrest," Carole said. "Everything else now has been traumatic and sad and hard. But the arrest was what we needed for justice."

Of the 26 crimes DeAngelo is charged with, only one took place in Tulare County: the 1975 murder of College of the Sequoias journalism professor Claude Snelling.

Snelling was shot and killed while saving his daughter from an intruder at their Visalia home. That daughter, Elizabeth Hupp, was not in Sacramento Thursday but told Action News she's thrilled that DeAngelo was arraigned and that the court process is getting started.

DeAngelo was an Exeter Police officer when her father was murdered.

"This is the first time that all 26 charges have been read aloud," said Tulare County District Attorney Tim Ward. "Yes, we've talked about a complaint being filed, but this is the first time those family members heard victim's names read by a judge in court and that was a very, very powerful moment."

Ward was at the hearing but said he would not personally prosecute this case. It will be tried in Sacramento County, and his office is ready to assist in any way so that justice can be served as quickly as possible.

DeAngelo did not have to enter a plea on Thursday, but he will be back in court in December.

Prosecutors are also inquiring if DeAngelo will continue to use a public defender, or if he can afford to hire an attorney.
Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.