Accused ‘Golden State Killer’ charged with two counts of murder

Joseph James DeAngelo, the suspected "Golden State Killer," at his first court appearance in Sacramento

Sacramento (AFP) – The former California policeman accused of being the “Golden State Killer” was charged with two counts of murder on Friday following his arrest after a 40-year manhunt.

Joseph James DeAngelo, 72, was handcuffed to a wheelchair and wearing an orange jumpsuit as he appeared for the first time in a Sacramento court.

DeAngelo was charged with the February 2, 1978 murders of Brian and Katie Maggiore, a newlywed couple who were shot to death in Rancho Cordova, a Sacramento suburb, while walking their dog.

DeAngelo is a suspect in 10 other murders committed in central, northern and southern California between 1976 and 1986, and more than 50 rapes.

He was arrested on Tuesday after investigators, who had been searching for him for four decades, tracked him down using a genealogy database and DNA left at the crime scenes.