Tag Archives: judge

Orange County Judge Removes Death Penalty Option For Mass Murderer Scott Dekraai

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Scott Dekraai in an Orange County courtroom during a March 2014 hearing (Photo by Mark Boster-Pool/Getty Images)

Scott Dekraai, who opened fire inside a Seal Beach salon in October 2011, killing eight and wounding another, has been spared the death penalty.

On Friday, Orange County Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals removed the option of the death penalty from Dekraai’s potential sentencing, citing the inability of law enforcement to ensure Dekraai a fair penalty trial, notes the Orange County Register.

The decision comes after the Orange County Sherrif’s Department’s mishandling of Judge Goethals’ request to turn over all evidence procured from a jailhouse informant regarding Dekraai’s case. According to the Los Angeles Times, Judge Goethals issued a request for the evidence nearly five years ago, but only earlier this year did the Sheriff’s Department testify that there

Read more at: http://laist.com/2017/08/18/judge_death_sentence_dekraai.php

No Death Penalty For Seal Beach Mass Murderer Scott Dekraai, Judge Rules

Confessed mass murderer Scott Evans Dekraai, who committed the deadliest mass-shooting in Orange County history, will likely be sentenced to life in prison after Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals Friday blocked him from receiving the death penalty.

In a decision announced in a packed courtroom, Goethals sharply rebuked both the Orange County District Attorney and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) for “chronic obstructionism” and failures to turn over evidence to his court. Those failures, he ruled, mean Dekraai cannot receive a fair jury trial to determine his sentence.

It effectively blocks attempts by the California Attorney General, which took over prosecution of the case from the OC District Attorney in 2015, to pursue the death penalty at a trial.

“The truth is,

Read more at: https://voiceofoc.org/2017/08/no-death-penalty-for-seal-beach-mass-murderer-judge-rules/

Judge throws out death sentence against OC mass killer

After years of protracted legal proceedings, an Orange County superior court judge on Friday threw out the death penalty against Scott Dekraai, perpetrator of the county’s worst mass killing who confessed to gunning down eight people, including his ex-wife, at a Seal Beach hair salon.

Judge Thomas Goethals ruled that OC prosecutors and sheriff’s deputies had violated Dekraai’s constitutional rights by withholding evidence and improperly using a jailhouse informant while building the case against him following the shooting on Oct. 12, 2011.

“Ongoing prosecutorial misconduct … has effectively compromised this defendant’s right to procedural and substantive due process and prospectively to a fair penalty trial,” Goethals wrote in his ruling, part of which he delivered orally to a packed courtroom of reporters, victims’ family members and other onlookers.

Goethals is expected to sentence Dekraai to life in prison without possibility of parole on Sept. 22.

Dekraai looked steadily at the judge during most of

Read more at: https://www.scpr.org/news/2017/08/18/74803/judge-throws-out-death-sentence-against-oc-mass-ki/

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 …



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.

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.

Judge won’t toss death sentence for carjacking killer of 2 New England men

BOSTON (AP) — A drifter convicted of killing two Massachusetts men in carjackings in 2001 has been denied his bid to toss the death sentence he received earlier this year.

Gary Lee Sampson was sentenced for a second time to death for the killing of 19-year-old college student Jonathan Rizzo but was given a life sentence for the killing of 69-year-old retiree Philip McCloskey. Sampson was first condemned to die in 2003.

The Boston Globe reports the judge wrote in his decision Tuesday that there was evidence permitting jurors to conclude Sampson “intended to kill” Rizzo “from the time they met.”

Sampson’s lawyers have said he was brain damaged when he carjacked and fatally stabbed Rizzo and McCloskey.

He continued his killing spree in New Hampshire, where he strangled Robert Whitney, a former Concord city councilor. Sampson was sentenced separately in New Hampshire to a life term.

Read more at: http://www.nh1.com/news/judge-won-t-toss-death-sentence-for-carjacking-killer-of-2-new-england-men/

Judge Set to Rule on Whether Seal Beach Mass Murderer Faces Death Penalty

Orange County Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals will rule Aug. 18 whether to block mass murderer Scott Dekraai from receiving the death penalty and determine if the Sheriff’s Department can be trusted to turn over all records ordered by the court.

Attorneys gave their final arguments Thursday to close an evidentiary hearing which started in late May in which Dekraai’s attorneys alleged the District Attorney’s office and Sheriff’s Department  failed to provide court-ordered records in the past. The defense lawyers contend its possible the DA and Sheriff’s Department still haven’t turned over everything and suggest Dekraai  should be spared the death penalty because he won’t receive a fair trial on the penalty he is to face for the murders.

If

Read more at: http://voiceofoc.org/2017/08/judge-set-to-rule-on-whether-seal-beach-mass-murderer-faces-death-penalty/

Judge to decide whether suspects in Wilkinsburg mass shooting will be tried separately – Tribune

Updated 3 hours ago

An Allegheny County judge said Thursday he expects to decide this month whether two men accused of fatally shooting five adults and an unborn child in Wilkinsburg will be tried separately or together.

Cheron Shelton and Robert Thomas remain jailed while they await trial on charges they orchestrated the March 9, 2016, mass shooting at a backyard gathering on Franklin Avenue.

Defense attorneys filed a motion last month to try their cases separately.

Randall McKinney, an attorney for Shelton, has argued that his client’s defense would be hurt by evidence against Thomas, including statements that Thomas is alleged to have made to two jailhouse informants regarding the alleged shooting.

Prosecutors, in a response filed Thursday, argued that testimony from one informant, Frederick Collins, will not be used in trial — something decided in court

Read more at: http://triblive.com/local/allegheny/12581994-74/judge-to-decide-whether-suspects-in-wilkinsburg-mass-shooting-will-be-tried