The man accused of opening fire in a crowded Seal Beach beauty salon in a murderous act of revenge upon his ex-wife will be back in court today.
A pretrial hearing is scheduled today for Scott Evans Dekraai, 42, who faces a death penalty trial in the county’s deadliest mass murder. At the hearing prosecutors and the defense attorney may set a court date for the trial. Earlier this month, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas convened a grand jury to have Dekraai indicted in an effort to expedite the trial. Dekraai was arraigned on the grand jury indictment including eight murder charges and one attempted murder charge last week. The grand jury process bypasses the months or years of legal wrangling involved in a traditional capital case.
“If we did it with the other method, it could easily take years to get to a preliminary hearing,” Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said last week.
Rackauckas said he hopes to try the case this year and anticipates that it would take a little over two months. Dekraai is currently represented by a public defender, but his earlier attorney hinted that a change of venue motion or insanity defense could be play a role in the case.
Family members of the eight people Dekraai is accused of killing have attended each court hearing the case since the shootings.
Dekraai is accused of walking into the Salon Meritage on Oct 12 and shooting and killing his 48-year-old ex-wife Michelle Fournier before opening fire on others inside the business. Also killed in the shooting were the salon's owner, Randy Lee Fannin, 62; Victoria Ann Buzzo, 54; Lucia Bernice Kondas, 65; Laura Lee Elody, 46; Christy Lynn Wilson, 47; Michele Daschbach Fast, 47, and David Caouette, 64. Hattie Stretz, 73, was also shot, but survived. Dekraai remains jailed without bail.