Ongoing coverage of the mass killing in Seal Beach

Cameras OK'd for Seal Beach Massacre Hearing

Scott Dekraai is accused of killing eight people and wounding a ninth Oct. 12 in a Seal Beach salon

By Jonathan Lloyd and Olsen Ebright
|  Tuesday, Nov 29, 2011  |  Updated 6:45 PM PDT
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The man charged with the largest mass killing in Orange County's history plead not guilty in a Santa Ana courtroom on Tuesday.

Vikki Vargas

The man charged with the largest mass killing in Orange County's history plead not guilty in a Santa Ana courtroom on Tuesday.

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Cameras will be allowed in court during an upcoming hearing for Scott Dekraai, the man accused of carrying out the deadliest mass shooting in Orange County history, a judge ruled Tuesday.

A fully bearded Dekraai appeared in Orange County Superior Court on Tuesday morning for arraignment. His lawyer entered a not guilty plea.

Orange County Superior Court Judge Erick L. Larsh set a preliminary hearing date of April 24, 2012.

Prosecutor Scott Simmons said he expected Dekraai's defense to try to show that their client was insane at the time of the shooting rampage.

"We are ready if they enter that plea," Simmons said after the arraignment. "Our position is that he absolutely is not insane."

Dekraai, 42, is accused in the shooting deaths of his ex-wife and seven others at a Seal Beach salon. He was charged with eight counts of murder and one count of attempted murder.

Dekraai faces the death penalty, if convicted. He was jailed without bail after the Oct. 12 shooting at Salon Meritage.

Seal Beach Massacre: Images, Court Documents

Dekraai and his former wife, Michelle Fournier, were in court a day before the slayings for a custody hearing that involved their 8-year-old son. A court-ordered report recommended that Dekraai not receive full custody, and authorities alleged that Dekraai sought revenge by opening fire in the busy salon.

Witnesses told police Dekraai was wearing a protective vest and carrying multiple weapons when he was taken into custody just blocks from the salon.

The arraignment, originally scheduled for Oct. 14, was delayed when Dekraai's attorney request more time to prepare.

The eight people killed Oct. 12 were Dekraai's ex-wife; the salon's owner, Randy Lee Fannin, 62; Victoria  Ann Buzzo, 54; Lucia Bernice Kondas, 65; Laura Lee Elody, 46; Christy Lynn  Wilson, 47; Michele Daschbach Fast, 47; and David Caouette, 64, who was shot in his Range Rover outside the salon.

Hattie Stretz, 73, was shot, but survived.

Two families have filed lawsuits against Dekraai. Wilson's family filed a lawsuit earlier this month seeking payment for her hospital and funeral expenses.

Fournier's parents also filed a similar lawsuit against Dekraai.

Correction: The court date of April 24, 2012, is for a preliminary hearing. A trial date has not been set yet.

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