SANTA ANA, Calif. – A California man was sentenced Friday to life in prison without the possibility of parole for killing his ex-wife and seven others in a 2011 shooting rampage at the hair salon where she worked.
Scott Dekraai, a 47-year-old former tugboat operator, received eight consecutive life terms in a courtroom packed with victims’ relatives who wore buttons and shirts printed with photos of those killed. Many sobbed and spoke of their devastating loss. Others told Dekraai they hoped he would rot in prison.
Dekraai told the families he knew his words would never suffice but apologized for what he said was “a total loss of self-control.”
Dekraai pleaded guilty three years ago but his case dragged on for years due to a scandal over authorities’ use of informants to cull information from Dekraai and others housed in Orange County jails.
While authorities can receive information from informants, they can’t have snitches deliberately seek out information from inmates with legal representation.
Dekraai’s public defender, Scott Sanders, began seeking records about informants after he noticed a jailhouse informant, who had chatted up a previous client, was speaking with Dekraai. Sanders accused authorities of trying to cover up a snitch program that had trained inmates to sidle up to high-profile defendants.