The Latest: California mass killer spared the death penalty
Aug. 18, 2017
SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on a court hearing to determine if a convicted mass killer should be spared the death penalty (all times local):
Relatives of some victims are supporting a judge's decision to forbid the death penalty for a man who committed Orange County's worst mass murder.
A Superior Court judge ruled Friday that 47-year-old Scott Dekraai couldn't get a fair penalty trial because authorities improperly used a jailhouse informant to obtain a confession and then ignored his orders to turn over documents to the defense.
Dekraai pleaded guilty to killing eight people, including his ex-wife, at a Seal Beach hair salon in 2011.
The husband of one victim says he's relieved by the ruling, which allows the stalled penalty phase of trial to move forward.
The sister of another victim tells the Los Angeles Times (http://lat.ms/2fRslu8 ) that she hopes the ruling will result in Dekraai fading "quietly into the hell he deserves."
A California judge has ruled that a convicted mass killer will be spared the death penalty.
Under the ruling Friday by Orange County Superior Court Judge Thomas M. Goethals, 47-year-old Scott Dekraai only faces the possibility of a life sentence.
The judge found that failures by prosecutors would prevent a fair penalty phase of the trial.
Dekraai pleaded guilty to killing eight people in a 2011 shooting rampage at a Seal Beach hair salon.
The penalty phase of his trial was delayed amid a long-running scandal over the county's use of jailhouse informants.
Dekraai's lawyers said they felt authorities could not be trusted to turn over information related to Dekraai's case, while state prosecutors argued that the former tugboat operator could receive fair treatment.
A California judge is weighing whether a convicted mass killer should be spared the death penalty because of a long-running scandal over authorities' use of jailhouse informants.
Judge Thomas Goethals is expected to rule Friday whether 47-year-old Scott Dekraai (duh-CRY) should remain eligible for the death penalty or sentenced to life without parole. Dekraii killed eight people in a 2011 shooting rampage at an Orange County hair salon.
Defense lawyers say repeated failures by sheriff's authorities to reveal records related to informants show the agency can't be trusted to turn over evidence favoring their client.
The California attorney general's office says there's no indication authorities have evidence that would assist Dekraai and that he can still get a fair trial.