Dekraai turns to public defender

SANTA ANA — The man accused in Orange County's deadliest shooting rampage will be represented by a public defender.

Scott Evans Dekraai, 42, told Judge Erick L. Larsh in a brief court appearance Monday that he could not afford his own legal counsel. He had been represented in an Oct. 14 court appearance by a family lawyer.

Public defender Scott Sanders has taken over for his Dekraai's defense.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Scott Simmons, the co-prosecutor, said the change of attorneys will not delay the proceedings.

Dekraai is scheduled to be arraigned Nov. 29 in Orange County Superior Court.

Sanders would not comment on the case or say whether the court has allowed Dekraai, a Huntington Beach resident, to take his anti-psychotic medications or use a spinal cord stimulator to ease pain from his 2007 boating accident.

"I know that people are experiencing tremendous pain, and it's very sad," Sanders said in an interview. "But I don't want to disrespect this whole process or talk about a case that I'm just coming to at the earliest point."

The district attorney is expecting an insanity defense, but Sanders said it's too early to tell the type of defense he will mount.

Some relatives of the eight victims attended the hearing. Paul Wilson, the husband of salon employee Christy Lynn Wilson, 47, donned a black suit with two round pins containing photos of his late wife.

Dekraai allegedly walked into the Salon Meritage in Seal Beach at 1:20 p.m. Oct. 12 with a bulletproof vest and three guns; he is accused of shooting and killing eight people and injuring a ninth. He was allegedly seeking revenge on his ex-wife, whom he had bitterly fought over the custody of their 8-year-old child.

Dekraai faces eight counts of special-circumstances first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder.

District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said he is seeking the death penalty.

Twitter: @MonaShadia

Copyright © 2019, Daily Pilot
EDITION: California | U.S. & World