What Is DeAngelo’s Defense Thinking? What Will Be Their Strategy?

I feel remarkably better today – the boost of adrenaline I had from yesterday’s hearing (while I sat in my darn recliner) kind of flushed my system. Remember that for the next time you’re sick – just get really worked up about something! I also promised a part two today about the Intersection of Justice and Politics, but I had so much work to catch-up on today – I have to wait until this weekend. Apologies. (Read yesterday’s blog.)

Update from Yesterday

I was able to get more scoop about yesterday and here’s a quick rundown of impressions from folks who were there (and know you can also keep up with details here as well):

  • The atmosphere was absolutely amazing. The prosecution was friendly to the survivors and fierce with the defense. I’m guessing the energy the prosecution brought must have juiced the survivors a bit because it was described to me as palpable.
  • The defense was wimpy and petulant in its collective demeanor. Under a banner of “it’s not fair”, they fought for the delay – the video above is edited and makes it look fast, but apparently it wasn’t. At one-point DeAngelo’s male attorney talked back to the judge he was so dissatisfied with Judge White’s ruling.
  • One bailiff had his hand on DeAngelo’s back to “steady him” the whole time.
  • The prosecution was so fierce, that was when a man said, “Amen!” out loud.
  • I was most chastised for missing the one time (finally) where everyone left feeling pumped and satisfied that something was finally going to happen. Yeah, I am bummed I missed it.

What’s Next

I haven’t talked with Cheryl Temple in Ventura, our prosecutor, so this isn’t based on anything other than what makes sense and some speculation on my part. I really do feel like I have my dad in my head helping me think these things through but yes, he is dead, so take this for what it’s worth.

March Hearing: There’s one more of these in-jail-courtroom procedural hearings before the preliminary trial begins in May. I think the date is March 4th (I know I saw it last night) but I can’t find it. I’ll confirm. I find this interesting because this might be a strategic honey pot – as they call it in the cybersecurity game. I’m thinking the prosecution is anticipating hijinks from the defense and this might help manage their behavior because if they enter in May and ask for a series of motions that will provide additional delays, the prosecution can argue they did not bring them up just a few weeks before, thereby boxing-in the defense.

New Venue: I was told ages ago, and I need to reconfirm 100%, but we’ll finally be in a new venue and a real courtroom. That should give us a little more room to breath but could be deathly uncomfortable. For anyone who things having a big booty improves comfort, yeah, no. Age is age baby, I need to get my core in shape because this will be a sit-a-thon.

Why a Preliminary Trial: this comes up a lot on Reddit (you guys are legal animals!). In California, it’s how we proceed (learn more here). It also gives the prosecutors a huge advantage: because the witnesses are aging, any testimony provided during a prelim can be used in the trial. That’s not the case with Grand Jury testimony (as it’s been explained to me). We truly are on a clock here – my brothers and I are some of the younger victims and we are in our 50s. That’s also why the witness list of about 150 people is so insanely long. I believe we’ll get a very good look at the strategies both teams will be using when we get to a full trial (please Lord don’t let me attend that on a Jazzy – if I do, I’m going to require some mods).

Prosecution Strategy: It’s a preliminary trial – which we will now start calling the prelim – and I’ve been here before. We had one in Ventura. I was there and testified. I won’t have to testify this time. Then I was a witness to things that involved the defendant. Now, nope. I don’t know how the prosecution will divvy this up, but I suspect they will let the cream rise to the top. We’ll find out what matters most. Can anyone say DNA? I don’t know that we will hear a lot about his modus operandi because they just need to do two things: prove there’s enough evidence to hold him over for trial and get recorded testimony of witnesses that might not be available for trial.

Defense Strategy: I’ve thought a lot about this. I don’t think they particularly have one. If the defense had one, they should have come into the hearing yesterday with a rationale for the extended time; 250,000 documents wasn’t it. Instead, they could have cited how many lab tests need to be run, how many business days it takes to run the test. They could have talked about witnesses and depositions and how long those take. Maybe they could speak to dependencies on agencies that are providing them with documents that support their assertions. And it would have been framed to fight a going to a prelim. But they didn’t. Instead they basically said, it’s hard. I bet it is. Your suspect sucks. He left his seed everywhere. He followed a rigorous, predictable MO. He freaking beat the shit out of the people he killed in Southern California. Because there are fluids, his fluids, they must prove he didn’t. Not. Gonna. Happen.

DeAngelo’s Strategy: now I will participate in absolute pure speculation. Let’s call it a theory so I can pretend I’m part of the Criminal Minds team. Here it is. The house was in his granddaughter’s name when the sale was made. I find that interesting.

A smart lawyer, who knew her personal assets were tied to a criminal, might move to protect those assets for her children in case the criminal was captured one day. In fact, a smart lawyer, who knew her children were fathered by a criminal, might also enjoin him in an agreement: if the police close in, you will kill yourself before they can take you in. He’d likely agree because seriously, he didn’t want to get caught. I’ll now go the one step further, a smart lawyer who has a lot of power, has daughters and grandchildren she loves dearly, might also add, let’s be clear, you will not put my children through a trial. Every time there’s a court date, they suffer. I know, because I do. For me it’s not horrible but it triggers dreams and memories, so imagine those daughters. So far, the pressure has been about every two to three months. But a trial will be every day.

He’s going to bring shame to his family, every day.

Until I saw that gulp yesterday, I believed he was working on an exit (death) before conviction. He expected get a continuance until the end of 2020. But oops, he’s no longer in control and Judge White surprised him. Gulp. If we use a trial day of May 12, he only has four months left. That’s not much time.

I could be completely full of crap, but we are dealing with a control fiend and I haven’t seen any evidence he doesn’t love his kids. I’m assuming he does. He thought he had this. But he doesn’t. And yet, there are still roadblocks the defense can attempt to slow things down. I have no idea how this will go down, but he’s going to do whatever he can to have this happen on his terms.