Accused California hair salon gunman due in court

Reuters News
Posted: Nov 29, 2011 12:53 PM
Accused California hair salon gunman due in court

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A man accused of killing eight people during a shooting spree at a Southern California hair salon was due in court on Tuesday for an arraignment on murder and attempted murder charges.

Scott Evans Dekraai faces the death penalty if he is convicted of shooting his former wife and seven other people to death on October 12 at Salon Meritage in the coastal community of Seal Beach.

Prosecutors say Dekraai, 42, was seeking revenge against ex-wife Michelle Fournier in a bitter custody dispute over their young son when he walked into the salon carrying three handguns and opened fire.

Killed were Fournier, 48, along with salon owner Randy Fannin, 62, and six other people in the largest mass murder in Orange County history.

Harriet Stretz, 73, who was in a chair having her hair styled by her daughter at the time of the shooting, survived her wounds.

Dekraai, a former tugboat mate who was arrested just blocks from the bloody scene, has been charged with eight counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder.

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His arraignment was postponed in October at the request of his defense attorney.

The killings stunned Seal Beach, a bucolic beachside community about 20 miles southeast of Los Angeles that had experienced only four homicides in the past decade.

(Writing by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Jerry Norton)