SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTLA/AP) -- Joseph James DeAngelo was sentenced to multiple life prison sentences Friday for a decade-long string of rapes and murders that terrorized a wide swath of the state.
DeAngelo, 74, pleaded guilty in June to 13 murders and 13 rape-related charges under a plea deal that avoided a possible death sentence.
The punishment imposed by Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Michael Bowman means DeAngelo will die in prison for the crimes committed between 1975 and 1986.
TRUE CRIME DAILY: 'Golden State Killer' case coverage
Before sentencing, DeAngelo rose from a wheelchair, took off his mask and said to the court: “I listened to all your statements, each one of them, and I’m truly sorry for everyone I’ve hurt.”
DeAngelo also publicly admitted dozens more sexual assaults for which the statute of limitations had expired. Prosecutors called the scale of the violence “simply staggering,” encompassing 87 victims at 53 crime scenes spanning 11 California counties.
Prosecutors initially sought the death penalty, but settled for a life term given California’s moratorium on executions, the coronavirus pandemic, and the advancing age of DeAngelo, his victims, and witnesses they needed to make their case.
Bowman sentenced DeAngelo under a plea deal that called for him to be sentenced to 11 consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole, plus 15 life terms with the possibility of parole and eight years for other enhancements.