SEAL BEACH (CBS) — A grand jury Wednesday indicted a Huntington Beach man on charges of killing his ex-wife and seven others in a shooting spree at a Seal Beach salon.
Scott Evans Dekraai, 42, orginally pleaded not guilty in November to eight counts of murder and one count of attempted murder in the largest mass killing in Orange County history. Due to his recent indictment, Dekraai will not have to go through a preliminary hearing, quickening the legal process.
A pretrial hearing was set for Jan. 27.
Eight people were killed and a 73-year-old woman was seriously injured on Oct. 12 when Dekraai allegedly went on a shooting rampage at the Salon Meritage.
Dekraai was in court with his ex-wife, Michelle Fournier, the day before the massacre. He had been seeking sole custody of his 8-year-old son, a request the court denied.
Records indicate he had grown increasingly troubled in recent years. One month after his divorce in 2007, a tugboat accident killed one of his co-workers and left him permanently disabled.
A psychiatrist later testified that Dekraai suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the accident, according to court documents.
That same year, he was ordered to enroll in a year-long battery intervention program after he attacked his stepfather in front of his young son.
Fournier had said her custody battle with Dekraai intensified in 2008. One of her friends says Dekraai threatened to kill Fournier on two separate occasions, once telling her he would shoot her at work.
If convicted, Dekraai, who is being held without bail, faces the death penalty.
Wednesday’s indictment allows prosecutors to avoid a preliminary hearing.