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

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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.  

With contributions from KPCC Wire Services

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