Tag Archives: death

Mass killer spared death penalty over Calif. jail informant scandal

SANTA ANA, Calif. — A Southern California mass killer will be spared the death penalty amid a long-running scandal over local authorities’ use of jailhouse informants, a judge decided Friday.

Judge Thomas M. Goethals said Scott Dekraai would not be sentenced to death after pleading guilty to killing eight people in a 2011 shooting rampage at an Orange County hair salon.

The ruling leaves only the possibility that Dekraai, 47, will be sentenced to life in prison.

It’s rare for a judge to bar prosecutors from seeking a death sentence. While acknowledging the “horrendous” nature of Dekraai’s crime, Goethals found that failures by the prosecution team would prevent a fair penalty phase of the trial.

Dekraai’s defense attorneys had argued that repeated failures by sheriff’s authorities to reveal records related to informants in the county jail show the agency can’t be trusted to turn over evidence that could favor their client.

Goethals noted authorities

Read more at: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/mass-killer-spared-death-penalty-over-calif-jail-informant-scandal/

Mass killer spared death penalty over Calif. jail informant scandal …

SANTA ANA, Calif. — A Southern California mass killer will be spared the death penalty amid a long-running scandal over local authorities’ use of jailhouse informants, a judge decided Friday.

Judge Thomas M. Goethals said Scott Dekraai would not be sentenced to death after pleading guilty to killing eight people in a 2011 shooting rampage at an Orange County hair salon.

The ruling leaves only the possibility that Dekraai, 47, will be sentenced to life in prison.

It’s rare for a judge to bar prosecutors from seeking a death sentence. While acknowledging the “horrendous” nature of Dekraai’s crime, Goethals found that failures by the prosecution team would prevent a fair penalty phase of the trial.

Dekraai’s defense attorneys had argued that repeated failures by sheriff’s authorities to reveal records related to informants in the county jail show the agency can’t be trusted to turn over evidence that could favor their client.

Goethals noted authorities

Read more at: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/mass-killer-spared-death-penalty-over-calif-jail-informant-scandal/

Prosecutor Misconduct Spares Mass Murderer from Death

The worst mass murderer in Orange County, Ca., history will not face execution, the Orange County Register reports. Judge Thomas Goethals took the death penalty off the table for confessed killer Scott Evans Dekraai, 47, citing misconduct by prosecutors and sheriff’s officials. Dekraai pleaded guilty to killing eight people and wounding another in a 2011 . . .

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Read more at: https://thecrimereport.org/2017/08/19/prosecutor-misconduct-spares-mass-murderer-from-death/

Orange County mass murderer Scott Dekraai escapes death penalty …

Aug. 18 (UPI) — The man responsible for Orange County, Calif.’s, deadliest mass shooting avoided the death sentence Friday after a judge ruled prosecutorial misconduct made such a determination impossible.

Instead, Scott Evans Dekraai was sentenced to eight consecutive life terms without parole.

Dekraai, 47, pleaded guilty in 2014 to gunning down eight people including his ex-wife at the hair salon where she worked in Seal Beach in October, 2011. Dekraai’s motive was anger over a custody dispute. Dekraai was apprehended minutes after the shooting, was identified by eye-witnesses and never denied he was the shooter.

Despite the overwhelming evidence against his client, Dekraai’s attorney, Scott Sanders, succeeded in shifting the focus in the case away from the crime and onto the conduct of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and county prosecutors. Sanders repeatedly argued before Orange County Read more at: https://www.upi.com/Calif-mass-murderer-escapes-death-penalty/5181503094452/

Calif. mass murderer escapes death penalty

Aug. 18 (UPI) — The man responsible for Orange County, Calif.’s, deadliest mass shooting avoided the death sentence Friday after a judge ruled prosecutorial misconduct made such a determination impossible.

Instead, Scott Evans Dekraai was sentenced to eight consecutive life terms without parole.

Dekraai, 47, pleaded guilty in 2014 to gunning down eight people including his ex-wife at the hair salon where she worked in Seal Beach in October, 2011. Dekraai’s motive was anger over a custody dispute. Dekraai was apprehended minutes after the shooting, was identified by eye-witnesses and never denied he was the shooter.

Despite the overwhelming evidence against his client, Dekraai’s attorney, Scott Sanders, succeeded in shifting the focus in the case away from the crime and onto the conduct of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and county prosecutors. Sanders repeatedly argued before Orange County Read more at: https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2017/08/18/Calif-mass-murderer-escapes-death-penalty/5181503094452/

Death Penalty Off Table For Convicted Seal Beach Mass Murderer

SEAL BEACH, CA — It started with a morning in Seal Beach’s Salon and ended in a bloodbath that claimed the lives of eight victims. What has happened since is arguably one of the biggest disasters in the history of Orange County’s justice system, stretching from the court house to the Orange County Jail system, leaving witnesses to wonder if the punishment fits the crime.

Orange County Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals ruled Friday that Scott Dekraai, the worst mass killer in the county’s history, will not face the death penalty.

According to Judge Goethals, Dekraai will receive life in prison without the possibility of parole after pleading guilty on May 2, 2014, to murdering eight victims — including his ex-wife — and attempting to murder a ninth, 77-year-old Hattie Stretz, who survived the bloodbath at a Seal Beach beauty salon.

During the course of this case, victims’ families have been forced

Read more at: https://patch.com/california/losalamitos/convicted-seal-beach-mass-murderer-sentence-handed-down

OC mass shooter is spared death penalty in case tainted by jail informant scandal

An Orange County judge on Friday threw out the possibility of a death sentence for the man who murdered eight people at a Seal Beach salon in 2011, ruling that law enforcement has repeatedly failed to turn over relevant evidence about the use of jailhouse informants.

Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals blasted the county district attorney’s office and Sheriff’s Department for failing to comply with his discovery orders, saying the agencies appeared to be the only ones “in denial” about the constitutional violations raised by the ongoing informant scandal.

“The prosecution team is either unable, or unwilling, to comply with these lawful orders,” the judge said. “This court has lost confidence that it can ever secure compliance.”

Had the district attorney’s office handled the case properly, Scott Dekraai would have been sitting on death row, he said.

Seal Beach massacre hugged and

Read more at: http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-oc-informant-scandal-20170818-story.html

Judge rules out death penalty for Scott Dekraai in Seal Beach mass murder case

Scott Dekraai, 47, is lead to his seat beside his attorney Scott Sanders, right, in Orange County Superior Court in Santa Ana on Friday, August 18, 2017. In a ruling, Orange County Superior Court Judge Judge Thomas Goethals took the death penalty off the table for the confessed killer because he concluded law enforcement would not ensure the defendant a fair penalty trial. Dekraai pleaded guilty to killing eight people and wounding another in an October 2011 shooting spree at a Seal Beach salon. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)
Scott Dekraai, 47, is lead to his seat beside his attorney Scott Sanders, right, in Orange County Superior Court in Santa Ana on Friday, August 18, 2017. In a ruling, Orange County Superior Court Judge Judge Thomas Goethals took the death penalty off the table for the confessed

Read more at: http://www.ocregister.com/2017/08/18/judge-rules-out-death-penalty-for-scott-dekraai-in-seal-beach-mass-murder-case/

Judge weighs removing death penalty for mass killer

A California judge is expected to rule Friday whether a convicted mass killer should be spared the death penalty because of a long-running scandal over authorities’ use of jailhouse informants.

Judge Thomas M. Goethals will decide whether 47-year-old Scott Dekraai should remain eligible for the death penalty or sentenced to life without parole for killing eight people in a 2011 shooting rampage at an Orange County hair salon.

Defense lawyers want Goethals to take death off the table for Dekraai, arguing that repeated failures by sheriff’s authorities to reveal records related to informants show the agency can’t be trusted to turn over evidence favoring their client.

The California attorney general’s office says there’s no indication authorities have evidence that would assist Dekraai in the limited scope of a penalty phase hearing and that the former tugboat operator can still get a fair

Read more at: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/judge-weighs-removing-death-penalty-mass-killer-49289732

Judge will determine whether Seal Beach mass murderer will face death penalty



In a Santa Ana courtroom Friday morning, Scott Evans Dekraai will learn whether he could face execution for the worst mass killing in Orange County history.

After six years of delay and a series of controversies that rocked the county’s criminal justice system, Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals has two options. He can open the way for a jury to decide 47-year-old Dekraai’s fate.

Or Goethals could become one of the rare judges to take execution off the table for a convicted murderer because of law enforcement misconduct. In that case, Goethals would likely sentence Dekraai to eight consecutive life terms without parole.