SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — The state’s Attorney General announced Wednesday that the death penalty will be sought in the case of Scott Dekraai, the worst mass killer in Orange County’s history.
Dekraai pleaded guilty in 2014 to gunning down eight people, including his ex-wife Michelle Marie Fournier, at a Seal Beach hair salon. Dekraai had just argued with Fournier over a child support dispute.
The issue of Dekraai’s sentence had been up in the air since a judge kicked the Orange County District Attorney’s Office off the case over the way a jailhouse informant was used to ply information from the defendant, putting the case in the hands of the Attorney General.
State prosecutors had the option of having the judge sentence Dekraai to life in prison without the possibility of parole to eight murders, and the attempted murder of a ninth person, 77-year-old Hattie Stretz, who survived the Oct. 12, 2011 bloodbath at Salon Meritage.
Now Dekraai will face a penalty trial before a jury to decide if he should be sentenced to life in prison without parole or the death penalty.
“This tragic event has caused so much harm to far too many families,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement. “After weighing the evidence, considering the law and the responsibilities of my office, I have concluded that the appropriate course of action is to seek the death penalty in this case.”
The husband of 47-year-old Christy Wilson, who was apparently targeted because she testified against Dekraai in a child support hearing, argued that prosecutors should give up on the death penalty since no one has been put to death in California in years due to legal issues with the administering of the lethal drugs. Several other family members agree with Paul Wilson, but others wanted to continue to seek the death penalty.
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