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Friday, February 28, 2014

Allegations of Illegal Informants in the Seal Beach Murder Trial

During a court hearing Friday, Orange County Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals said he was considered separating two phases of the trial for man accused of killing eight people, seven inside the Salon Meritage beauty salon in Seal Beach on October 12, 2011.

Scott Evan Dekraii, 44, is accused of walking into the salon and shooting his ex-wife, Michelle Fournier, before opening fire on others inside the business and a man in the parking lout outside. The former couple were involved in a child custody dispute at the time of the shooting involving custody of their 8-year-old son, Dominic. Dekraai had been seeking sole custody, but a court ordered report recommended against it.

Within minutes, Seal Beach police arrested Dekraai a few blocks from the salon. 

Most recently, Dekraai, 44,  alleges that the Orange County Sheriff's Department has improperly used jailhouse informants to collect evidence against Dekraai. He argues that one informant, Inmate F, was housed near Dekraai and got the defendant to talk about the killings. Days after Dekraai was arrested and taken to the Central Jail Compex in Santa Ana, he was placed next to Inmate F. A few days later, Inmate F told deputies that Dekraai had spoken about the shooting, and offered details of the crime. 

According to prosecutors, they don't foresee calling inmate F to testify, however, they do plan on using recordings made of Dekraai in his cell. The recordings capture Dekraai discussing the crime and his mental state, according to court records.

Dekraai is set to face a jury trial on the charges March 24. He remains jailed without bail. He faces the death penalty. 

Charges of violent crimes such a murder, assault, and batter should be taken seriously, and traversed with the help of experienced criminal defense attorneys. If you or a loved one has been charged with criminal conduct, contact the experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorneys at Brower & Associates.
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