A statewide ballot proposition regarding the death penalty in California will determine whether the trial for a man accused in the shooting deaths of eight people last year at a Seal Beach salon will be a death penalty case.
Secretary of State Guide: Prop 34
The judge at a pre-trial hearing Friday in the case of Scott Dekraai -- accused of killing eight people, including his 48-year-old former wife -- said he plans to wait until after voters decide Prop 34 to determine whether prosecutors can pursue the death penalty as planned.
Dekraai is scheduled for trial in March.
A "Yes" vote on Proposition 34 would eliminate the death penalty in California and replace it with a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. The proposition is on the Nov. 6 statewide ballot.
Family members of the eight victims killed Oct. 12, 2011 at Salon Meritage in Seal Beach attended Friday's pre-trial hearing.
"We'll still be here, and we'll still go through the same thing," said Butch Fournier, a victim's brother, when asked about the possibilty the maximum penalty would not be death.
Prosecutors contend Dekraai, who pleaded not guilty to eight counts of murder, was upset about an acrimonious divorce and custody dispute with ex-wife Michelle Fournier, one of the salon's stylists.
Also killed in the shooting were the salon's owner, Randy Lee Fannin, 62; Victoria Ann Buzzo, 54; Lucia Bernice Kondas, 65; Laura Lee Elody, 46; Michele Daschbach Fast, 47, and David Caouette, 64.