SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — The trial of the man accused of killing eight people at a Seal Beach beauty salon nearly two years ago has been delayed to early next year.
Scott Evans Dekraai, 43, was expected to go on trial in November, but Orange County Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals scheduled a pretrial date for Jan. 17 and a trial date of March 24 in connection to the Oct. 12, 2011, massacre at Salon Meritage.
KNX 1070’s Tom Reopelle reported that the judge allowed the families of the victims to have their say at a hearing Friday, and several indicated that it appeared that the only person whose rights mattered were Dekraai’s.
Paul Wilson, the husband of Christy Wilson, who died in the shootings, said he doesn’t think the trial will actually start in March.
“I do think (the judge) means it. Will we get going on that March date? I don’t think so,” he said.
In court, Dekraai’s attorney, Scott Sanders, said that the delay is due to the prosecution seeking the death penalty.
Defense attorneys said they have offered a guilty plea and multiple life sentences if prosecutors would take away the death penalty.
“We politely declined their offer,” said Assistant District Attorney Dan Wagner. “This case among all cases deserves the ultimate punishment.”
Dekraai is charged with eight counts of murder, with a special circumstance allegation of multiple murders, and one count of attempted murder.
He reportedly gunned down his ex-wife, 48-year-old Michelle Fournier, who he was involved in a bitter child custody battle with over their son, before he opened fire on others in the salon.
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