SANTA ANA (CBS/AP) — The man accused of killing eight people at a Seal Beach hair salon in 2011 will have his trial split into two parts.
Orange County Superior Court Judge Thomas M. Goethals made the move to split Scott Dekraai’s capital murder trial into two separate trials with different juries on Monday.
KCAL9’s Michele Gile reported that splitting the guilt phase from the penalty phase is expected to make jury selection easier. It also means the victims’ families will at least get one verdict this summer.
The guilt phase will begin June 9.
“There’s no doubt in this case, who did it, what he did. Why we’re taking this long…it’s madness,” said Paul Wilson, whose wife was among those killed at Salon Meritage.
Paul Caouette’s father, Dave, was shot to death in the salon’s parking lot.
“My dad pulled into the parking lot and he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. It could have been anybody. He didn’t know what was coming. And that’s what’s hard for me with this trial right now. All these motions and everything is set up to give Scott Dekraai a fair trial when he took eight innocent lives, attempted a ninth, and we’re giving him a fair trial,” he said.
Meantime, Dekraai’s attorney, Scott Sanders, had alleged authorities improperly used jailhouse informants, and asked the judge to remove the death penalty from consideration and recuse the district attorney’s office.
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