Judge refuses to drop death penalty against Seal Beach killer

Judge won't drop death penalty against Seal Beach killer despite district attorney misconduct

The admitted killer in the 2011 Seal Beach salon rampage will face the death penalty despite the “negligence” of prosecutors in their investigation, a judge ruled Monday.

Scott Dekraai has pleaded to killing eight people in the salon where his ex-wife worked, but his attorney had asked that the death penalty be dropped and the Orange County district attorney’s office be removed from the case for misconduct.

Judge Thomas Goethals had harsh words for prosecutors and law enforcement but stopped short of dropping the death penalty or removing prosecutors from the case.

Any “failures” by the district attorney's office were “negligent rather than malicious,” Goethals wrote.

But, the judge said, testimony from a jailhouse informant who had cooperated with authorities will not be allowed during the penalty phase.


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