The man who allegedly at a Seal Beach salon switched lawyers Monday, saying he couldn't afford a private attorney.
In his second court appearance since the Oct. 12 massacre, Scott Evans Dekraai, speaking from behind bars in a Santa Ana courtroom, told Judge Erick L. Larsh he wanted a public defender.
Larsh promptly removed defense attorney Robert Curtis -- whose firm had also represented Dekraai in his divorce from Michelle Fournier -- and assigned the case to Deputy Public Defender Scott Sanders.
Curtis said defending a death penalty case could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
"It's a notorious case and it will be heavily litigated,'' Curtis said.
Ten days ago, Dekraai, 41, was scheduled to enter his plea to eight charges of murder and one count of attempted murder in . But the arraignment was postponed to Nov. 29 after Curtis asked for time to assemble a legal team.
At that hearing, Curtis also told Larsh his client wasn't receiving the antipsychotic medications he takes, and needed a battery for a spinal cord stimulator he wears as a result of a 2007 .
After Monday's lawyer change, Paul Wilson, whose wife, Christy, was killed in the attack, said Dekraai didn't deserve so much media attention: "What we do need to remember is that over the past week we've had to say goodbye to eight loving people."
Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, who is , has previously said he wouldn't be surprised if Dekraai tries an insanity plea.
The date of Dekraai's next hearing wasn't altered by Monday's legal maneuvering.
-- City News Service contributed to this report.