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By Daniel Ritz
On Aug. 22, Orange County District Attorney (OCDA) Tony Rackauckas announced that the case against Joseph James DeAngelo, 72, of Citrus Heights, will be prosecuted jointly in Sacramento County. This joint prosecution will involve Contra Costa, Orange, Sacramento, Santa Barbara, Tulare and Ventura Counties in an amended complaint charging all crimes together in one case as well as 13 counts of kidnapping to commit robbery.
In Orange County alone, DeAngelo is being charged with four felony murders with special circumstances sentencing enhancements for multiple murders and murder during the commission of rape, robbery and burglary. These murders include Keith and Patrice Harrington, Dana Point, who were murdered on Aug. 21, 1980.
Keith’s brother, Bruce Harrington was integral in funding and supporting the eventual passage and implementation of Proposition 69 (DNA Fingerprint, Unsolved Crime and Innocence Act,) in 2004. This proposition mandated that all felony arrestees, and some misdemeanor arrestees give a DNA sample. The OCDA’s office recently announced Orange County’s local segment of the more than 2 million profiles in the California State Database has reached over 170,000. -DR