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Accused mass murderer pleads not guilty in Seal Beach shooting

January 18, 2012 |  4:02 pm

Scott Dekraai
The man accused in a mass shooting at a Seal Beach beauty salon in October pleaded not guilty Wednesday to  eight counts of murder with special circumstances and a single felony count of attempted murder.

Scott Dekraai wore a mustard-yellow jumpsuit and glasses, his hands hancuffed in front of him. He was kept behind a barrier and did not speak during the hearing in Santa Ana.

Dekraai will next appear in court Jan. 27. The shooting was the largest mass killing in Orange County history.

Photos: Seal Beach salon shooting rampage | Full Coverage

Dozens of family members and friends of the victims were at the hearing. Before letting them enter the courtroom, however, an Orange County sheriff's deputy warned them to have no outbursts, saying he knew there was a lot of emotion connected with this case.

Some of those in attendance wore pins with loved ones` faces. Others wore T-shirts with hearts bearing the words "Support in love Seal Beach."

Paul Wilson, whose wife, Christy was killed, wore four pins with her photo and had tears in his eyes when he left the courtroom.

"He knows we`re here," Wilson said of Dekraai. "He can feel it. I`m not here for him; I`m here for Christy. My life literally changed in two minutes."

A grand jury Tuesday indicted Dekraai in connection with the Oct. 12 shooting at Salon Meritage, where his ex-wife, Michelle Fournier, worked.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in the case. Dekraai pleaded not guilty in November at an earlier arraignment.

He is accused of walking into the crowded salon and shooting Fournier before turning his gun on others. Dekraai had been involved in a bitter custody dispute with Fournier over their 8-year-old son, according to court records.

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-- Hailey Branson-Potts in Santa Ana

Photo:  Scott Evans Dekraai is flanked by his public defenders during arraignment Tuesday.

Credit: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

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