A former homicide supervisor at the Orange County District Attorney’s Office is urging Sacramento County prosecutors not to move their Golden State Killer murder cases to Orange County, claiming District Attorney Tony Rackauckas is “unfit” to handle them, it was reported Thursday.
In a four-page letter, former Assistant District Attorney Michael Jacobs asked Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert to do “everything in your power” not to consolidate her two homicide cases for prosecution in Orange County, where he said Rackauckas’ office “over the years, has exhibited a long history of poor judgment, incompetence (and) prejudicial misconduct,” the Orange County Register reported.
Jacobs, who was fired from the Orange County District Attorney’s Office and is now a defense attorney, went on to call Rackauckas and Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens “unfit to competently handle a case of this magnitude and importance,” according to the newspaper.
Orange County has four Golden State Killer homicide cases against the same defendant, former police officer Joseph James DeAngelo.
The Sacramento District Attorney’s Office said no decision has been made on consolidating cases, although two meetings have been held.
Consolidating Sacramento County’s cases against DeAngelo, 72, in Orange County would endanger them of being reversed on appeal or subject to sanctions as a result of prosecutorial misconduct, Jacobs wrote in the July 17 letter.
Rackauckas’ spokeswoman, Michelle Van Der Linden, responded that Jacobs’ letter was riddled with errors and that he was working against Rackauckas’ re-election in November.
“This letter is simply a pathetic publicity ploy and political stunt,” she said, according to the Register. Hutchens said Orange County is capable of handling any case, and to say otherwise is “reckless.”
In one of the largest criminal cases in state history, DeAngelo is facing 12 murder charges in Sacramento, Santa Barbara, Orange and Ventura counties. He also is suspected of more than 50 rapes and more than 100 burglaries statewide, dating back to 1974.
In Orange County, DeAngelo is accused of killing Keith and Patrice Harrington in Dana Point as well as Manuela Witthuhn and Janelle Cruz, both in Irvine. All were killed from 1980 to 1986. In Sacramento, DeAngelo is charged with the killings of Brian and Katie Maggiore.