Crime & Justice

Golden State Killer suspect fights DNA collection effort

Joseph James DeAngelo, the suspected
Joseph James DeAngelo, the suspected "Golden State Killer", appears in court for his arraignment on April 27, 2018 in Sacramento.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The former policeman accused of being the Golden State Killer headed back to court Thursday to fight prosecutors' efforts to collect more of his DNA.

Joseph DeAngelo, 72, was scheduled to appear in a Sacramento courtroom connected to the county jail where he's being held.

His public defender, Diane Howard, has filed a motion to block efforts by the district attorney to take DNA, fingerprints and photos of DeAngelo's body.

Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert got a warrant last week to gather the samples and photographs.

DeAngelo was arrested last week and identified as the suspect in at least a dozen murders and more than 50 rapes between 1976 and 1986.

Prosecutors said they used DNA and a genealogical website to identify DeAngelo, decades after the case had gone cold.

Prosecutors initially planned to take more DNA and photographs Wednesday, prompting Howard's motion to halt the action.

In a brief court appearance, Superior Court Judge Michael Sweet delayed the hearing until Thursday.

DeAngelo, in an orange jumpsuit and handcuffed to a wheelchair, appeared alongside Howard. He has not yet entered a plea.

Howard argued in a motion that the search warrant should be stopped because it was approved before DeAngelo was arrested and arraigned last week.

Prosecutors argued that the search warrant was still relevant and said collecting the evidence won't be "testimonial in nature."

The Associated Press and other news organizations have 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.