Salon Shooting Trial Focus Shifts to Jailhouse Informant – Chip Yost Reports
SEAL BEACH, Calif. (KTLA) — Prosecutors were ordered to turn over all information about a jailhouse informant during a pretrial hearing Friday for the man accused of murdering eight people in a Seal Beach salon.
Scott Dekraai, 44, is charged with eight counts of murder in the midday massacre at Salon Meritage on October 12, 2011.
The hearing addressed prosecutors’ plans to play audio recordings from some of the hundreds of hours of conversations between Dekraai and a jailhouse informant.
The recordings were made covertly by law enforcement a week after Dekraai was arrested, and reportedly include several instances of him talking about the shootings.
The defense filed a motion seeking more information about the informant and whether he enticed Dekraai into talking.
If the conversations were pre-arranged, the defense says, it could be a violation of Dekraai’s right to legal representation because they happened after he had an attorney.
Prosecutors maintain that Dekraai made the comments without any prompting or quizzing by the informant.
Dekraai was indicted in January 2012 and has pleaded not guilty. He could face the death penalty if he’s convicted.
Among the victims in the salon shooting was Dekraai’s ex-wife, stylist Michelle Fournier, 47, with whom he was involved in a bitter custody dispute.
Also killed inside the salon were Christy Lynn Wilson, 47; salon owner Randy Fannin, 61; Victoria Ann Buzzo, 54; Lucia Bernice Kondas, 65; Laura Lee Webb Elody, 46; and Michele Fast.
David Caouette, 64, was shot and killed while sitting in his vehicle in the parking lot as Dekraai was fleeing, police said.
Dekraai was arrested by a Seal Beach officer as he drove away from the salon. He told the officer, “I know what I did,” according to a search warrant affidavit.
He also confessed to detectives during an interview, according to the affidavit, calling the people he shot after his wife “collateral damage.”