SACRAMENTO (CBS13/AP) – For the first time since his arrest earlier this week, Joseph James DeAngelo, the man accused of terrorizing Californians in the 1970s and 1980s as Golden State Killer and the East Area Rapist, is appearing in a Sacramento Courtroom.
DeAngelo came into the courtroom in a wheelchair pushed by a bailiff and answered a few questions from the judge. The entire hearing lasted less than three minutes.
He was handcuffed in a wheelchair and five police officers surrounded him as he listened to the judge with his eyes barely open.
A court official read the details of the charges that DeAngelo is facing and a judge asked if he had a lawyer.
In a frail voice, DeAngelo responded, “I have a lawyer.” An attorney from the public defender’s office was with him in court.
DeAngelo appeared in a wheelchair and was wearing an orange jumpsuit.
Sheriff Scott Jones said Friday that Joseph James DeAngelo is on suicide and has been talking to himself. He was in a psychiatric ward of the county jail and has said little. Jones says there’s been “quiet reflection” and mumbling.
DeAngelo, 72, was arrested Tuesday at his Citrus Heights home.
The Golden State Killer is responsible for the deaths of at least a dozen people and rapes of 50 women from 1976 to 1986.
Investigators are sifting through every item, receipt and piece of paper from DeAngelo’s home searching for any possible clues to tie him to more than 170 crimes authorities believe he may have committed.
A genealogical website confirms their database was used to track down DeAngelo. But, the company says it had no idea its service was involved in the hunt for one of California’s most elusive serial killers.
GEDmatch said in a statement Friday on its website that it was never contacted by law enforcement or anyone else about the case or the DNA profile that was used.
The Florida-based company pools DNA profiles that people upload and share publicly.
GEDmatch says it has always informed users that its databases can be used for purposes other than genealogical research.
DeAngelo’s next court appearance is scheduled for May 14 at 8:30 a.m.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)