Trial date postponed until 2014 for man charged in beauty salon mass killing

Salon Shooting

AP/Seal Beach Police Department

This police photo released on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011 by the Seal Beach Police Department shows Scott Dekraai from Huntington Beach.

Reed Saxon/AP

Police officers stand with a man who was being held in a patrol car at the scene of the arrest of a suspect near the Salon Meritage in Seal Beach, Calif., where a shooting left eight people dead and one critically injured Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2011. Seal Beach police have identified the suspect in a salon shooting massacre as Scott Evans Dekraai.

Grant Slater/KPCC

Salon Meritage, the site where nine people were shot yesterday. Eight died and one person was wounded.

Seal Beach Memorial

Corey Moore/KPCC

A carved pumpkin and t-shirt on display at the memorial that's developed around Salon Meritage where a gunman shot eight people to death on October 12.

Salon Meritage

Ashley Myers-Turner/KPCC

Cynthia Pastor, interior designer (left), is working with new co-owner Irma Acosta (right) and owner Sandy Fannin (not pictured) to bring back a space loved by the community. Acosta says she already has hair stylists and manicurists asking to come work at the Salon.

Salon Meritage

Ashley Myers-Turner/KPCC

Community support is felt for the Salon Meritage, as fresh flowers are left even nine months after the incident.


Nearly two years have passed since the worst mass killing in Orange County history. The man charged in the killings has yet to face trial and the victims' families aren't happy about it. 

Scott Dekraai is charged with killing eight people, seven inside the Salon Meritage beauty parlor in Seal Beach on October 12, 2011. His trial was set to begin November 4, but on Friday an Orange County Superior Court judge rescheduled it to March 2014.

Christy Wilson was one of the salon employees killed. Her husband, Paul Wilson, said the evidence is "pretty clear" and called the trial delay "unfair" to families of the victims. 

Dekraai's attorney, Scott Sanders, said in court that the trial date is pushed forward because the prosecution is seeking the death penalty. Defense attorneys have offered a guilty plea and multiple life sentences - which the Orange County District Attorney's office has flatly rejected.

Dekraai, 43, is accused of walking into the salon and gunning down his ex-wife, Michelle Fournier, 48, before opening fire on others inside the business and a man in the parking lot outside. Dekraai and Fournier were involved in a custody dispute at the time.

The eight people killed were Dekraai's 48-year-old ex-wife, hair stylist Michelle Marie Fournier; 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, who was shot in his Range Rover outside the salon. 73-year-old Hattie Stretz was also shot, but survived her wounds.

Within minutes of the shootings, Seal Beach police arrested Dekraai a few blocks away from the salon.

Dekraai and Fournier were in a Santa Ana courtroom the day before the shootings for a hearing involving custody of their 8-year-old son, Dominic. Dekraai had been seeking sole custody of his son, but a court-ordered report recommended against it.

Dekraai's next court date is a pretrial hearing on January 17, 2014. He remains jailed without bail.  

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