Seal Beach shooting: D.A. expects an insanity defense
"I think we're hearing something about the defense at this point," Rackuackas said shortly after Scott Dekraai's arraignment was postponed. "I won't be surprised if we get an insanity plea."
Dekraai faces the death penalty if convicted on eight counts of murder and one count of attempted murder. Authorities say that, in an act of revenge, he opened fire at Salon Meritage, killing his ex-wife, Michele Fournier, and seven other people. The two had been embroiled in a years-long custody dispute over their 8-year-old son.
At the brief hearing, Dekraai's family law attorney, Robert Curtis, requested a continuance because they need time to assemble a defense team.
Curtis also told the judge that Dekraai needs his anti-psychotic medication, specifically trazodone and topamax.
Dekraai's doctor has diagnosed him with post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from a tugboat accident in 2007, in which a fellow deckhand was killed and he suffered a serious leg injury, according to court records. Fournier also accused him of being bipolar.
Rackauckas said a medical team will evaluate Dekraai to determine whether he needs the medication.
He said family members were upset, in part, because they were unhappy with the continuance and want the proceedings to "go quickly."
"They're just terribly distraught," he said. "There's just all of the emotions, including anger."
-- Nicole Santa Cruz at Orange County Superior Court
Photo: Scott Dekraai makes his first appearance in Orange County Superior Court for the mass shooting at the Meritage Salon in Seal Beach. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times