Scott Dekraai, defendant in Seal Beach shootings, gets new lawyer
The man accused in Orange County’s deadliest shooting rampage will be represented by a public defender.
Scott Evans Dekraai, 42, told Judge Erick L. Larsh in a brief court appearance Monday that he could not afford legal counsel. He had been represented in an Oct. 14 court appearance by a family lawyer.
Public defender Scott Sanders has taken over the case.
Senior Deputy Dist. Atty. Scott Simmons, who is co-prosecuting the case, said the change of attorneys will not delay the case.
Dekraai will be arraigned Nov. 29 in Orange County Superior Court. He faces eight counts of special-circumstances first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder, and prosecutors said they will seek the death penalty.
Sanders would not comment on the case or say whether the court has allowed Dekraai, a Huntington Beach resident, to take his anti-psychotic medications or use a spinal cord stimulator to ease pain from a 2007 boating accident.
“I know that people are experiencing tremendous pain, and it’s very sad,” Sanders said in an interview. “But I don’t want to disrespect this whole process or talk about a case that I’m just coming to at the earliest point.”
Prosecutors are expecting an insanity defense, but Sanders said it’s too early to tell what type of defense he will mount.
Some relatives of the eight victims attended the hearing. Paul Wilson, the husband of salon employee Christy Lynn Wilson, 47, donned a black suit with two round pins with photos of his late wife.
Dekraai allegedly walked into the Salon Meritage at 1:20 p.m. Oct. 12 with a bulletproof vest and three guns and shot and killed eight people and injured a ninth. He was allegedly seeking revenge on his ex-wife, whom he had bitterly fought over custody of their 8-year-old child.
--Mona Shadia, Times Community News