California prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty if they convict the man suspected of being a notorious California serial killer who eluded capture for decades.
The move comes less than a month after Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a moratorium on executing any of the 737 inmates on the nation's largest death row.
Prosecutors from four counties announced their decision one after another Wednesday during a brief court hearing for Joseph DeAngelo, jailed as the suspected "Golden State Killer.''
DeAngelo, 73, is charged with 13 counts of murder. In addition, officials said DeAngelo faces 13 counts of kidnapping for robbery in six counties.
He was arrested a year ago based on DNA evidence linking him to at least 13 murders and more than 50 rapes across California in the 1970s and '80s.
DeAngelo has yet to enter a plea on 26 charges. He stood expressionless and defense attorney Diane Howard did not comment.
Ronald Harrington's brother and sister-in-law were victims of the Golden State Killer. Harrington attended the court hearing on Wednesday and spoke to reporters after.
"On behalf of at least some of the victims of the Golden State Killer, we are thrilled with the decision to seek the death penalty," Harrington said.