The man accused of killing eight people in a mass shooting at a Seal Beach beauty salon pleaded during a court appearance on Friday.
Scott Dekraai had been charged with eight felony counts of special circumstance first degree murder in connection with the October 2011 shootings at Salon Meritage, which was the deadliest shooting rampage ever in Orange County.
Dekraai was wearing a bulletproof vest and armed with three firearms when he walked into the salon and began shooting, according to prosecutors.
“For almost two minutes, Dekraai shot victim after victim, executing eight people by shooting them in the head and chest,” Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said after announced the charges during a news conference in 2011.
Prosecutors said he was seeking revenge against his ex-wife Michelle Fournier, 48, an employee at the salon. The couple was embroiled in a custody dispute over their 8-year-old son.
The victim’s included: Fournier, 54-year-old salon employee Victoria Buzzo, 46–year-old salon employee Laura Elody, 62-year-old salon owner Randy Fannin, 47-year-old salon employee Michele Fast, 65-year-old salon client Lucia Kondas, 47-year-old salon employee Christy Lynn Wilson and 64-year-old David Caouette.
On Friday, Dekraai pleaded guilty to all charges, telling the judge, “It’s the right thing to do, your honor,”
The plea came amid a weeks-long hearing in which the defense has accused the prosecution of widespread misconduct.
Dekraai, who faces the death penalty, was not offered anything in exchange for pleading guilty, public defender Scott Sanders said on Monday.
“He wanted the victims to know that he will not be challenging at any point, now or in the future, him being in custody for the rest of his life,” Sanders said.
For relief, the defense has asked that the judge remove the district attorney’s office from the case and have the state Attorney General’s office take over the prosecution. They were also seeking to have the death penalty option taken off of the table.
Check back for updates on this developing story.
KTLA’s Chip Yost contributed to this report.