A California man pled guilty on Friday to the murders of eight different people during the shocking Seal Beach hair salon killings.
Defendant Scott Dekraai has pleaded guilty to a total of eight counts of special circumstances murder and one count of attempted murder in Orange County Superior Court.
Judge Thomas Goethals said that the plea does not have any bearing on commitments as to the sentencing.
Dekraai confessed to walking into the Salon Meritage on October 12, 2011 and opening fire.
His primary objective was the murder of his ex-wife, Michelle Fournier. Dekraai and Fournier had been locked in a vicious custody battle over their 8-year-old son.
— Canoe (@Canoe) May 2, 2014
Dekraai murdered his former wife along with seven other people and was arrested by police as he drove away from the scene.
Prosecutors later introduced evidence of his guilt in the form of a recording obtained by police. The “jailhouse confession” featured Dekraai admitting details of his crime to a police informant.
This resulted in a delay in the case as a defense investigation was launched into the lawfulness of using such informants in Orange County jails.
Judge to Scott Dekraai: "After today you will not be an 'alleged killer', you will be a convicted murderer". Live at 10am. @myfoxla
— Gigi Graciette (@GigiGraciette) May 2, 2014
One startling revelation that came about during the investigation is that not all of the evidence recorded was ever revealed.
There are concerns that while recordings indicating guilt were used, recordings that could prove innocence may have been suppressed. It's expected this information will lead to new trials for certain convicted criminals.
Last week prosecutors in the Dekraai murder case said that they would not be using the taped jailhouse recordings as evidence going forward.
#BREAKING: Scott Dekraai, charged with the worst mass killing in Orange County history, pleaded guilty today to eight counts of murder
— FOX 11 Los Angeles (@myfoxla) May 2, 2014
The lawyers of the defendant claimed he entered the guilty plea because he wanted to spare the families of the victims a long trial.
Despite Dekraai’s guilty plea, the prosecution will move forward with plans to seek the death penalty.
Dekraai’s defense attorneys say he will fight being sentenced to death.
Victims' families don't believe mass killer's reason for pleading guilty http://t.co/V6qYwInAY2
— HuffPost Crime (@HuffPostCrime) May 2, 2014
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