A man who killed eight people in a shooting rampage six years ago at a California hair salon uttered a courtroom apology on Thursday as victims' relatives voiced outrage over sentencing delays.
Scott Dekraai pleaded guilty in 2014 to killing his hairstylist ex-wife and seven others at the Seal Beach salon in 2011.
His lawyer wants him spared the death penalty.
Top news of the day
"I'm sorry. I'm very, very sorry," Dekraai said in his first public sign of remorse, the Orange County Register reported.
Dekraai spoke and wiped his eyes moments after Bethany Webb, the sister of victim Laura Webb Elody, criticized him for referring to those killed as "collateral damage."
"You can't give me back what you took," Webb replied. "I'm sorry, you can't apologize for this. You will never give me back what was stolen from me."
Victims' relatives are upset by sentencing delays. A decision on whether Dekraai should face death or life in prison has been postponed because of allegations that jailhouse informants were improperly used to secretly elicit information from Dekraai and suspects in other cases.
Orange County Superior Court Judge Thomas M. Goethals has been holding hearings on whether the Sheriff's Department withheld information about the use of informants in the murder case.
Paul Wilson, whose wife Christy Lynn Wilson was killed, said his father and father-in-law are suffering from advanced cancers.
"It is awful and pathetic to know they may not live to see the coward that took Christy's life brought to justice," Wilson told the judge.
A county grand jury report released blamed problems on rogue jail deputies and said there was no evidence of a conspiracy involving key law enforcement officials.
The allegations also have prompted state and federal investigations.