If lawsuits were assholes, Scott Evans Dekraai would have two of them.
Friday, the Seal Beach massacre suspect was sued for wrongful death by the parents of his slain ex-wife, Michelle Fournier, and grandparents of their 8-year-old son.
Monday, the troubled man authorities say confessed to the rampage was sued for wrongful death by the husband and three children of murder victim Christy Lynn Wilson.
Fournier, a 48-year-old hair stylist at Salon Meritage, was said by authorities to
be the first of eight murder victims blamed on Dekraai. Wilson, who was
getting her hair done by her friend and co-worker Fournier, was the
Fournier's parents, Joseph and Geri Burke, have asked the media in their home of Batavia, Wyoming, to respect their privacy. But they go public in the lawsuit filed in Orange County Superior Court by their Santa Ana-based attorney Eric V. Traut. It seeks money from Dekraai for
the cost of her funeral, the support of her son, Dominic, and the
loss of Fournier's “love, companionship, comfort [and] affection.”
consequences of (Dekraai's) cowardly rampage have devastated many
families and friends and left his own 8-year-old son an orphan,” reads the complaint. “District Attorney Tony Rackauckas will seek the
death penalty. If any case justifies the execution of another human
being, it is this one.”
Filed by Santa Ana attorneys Edward Susolik and Sarah Serpa of
Callahan & Blaine, the Wilson family's wrongful death suit alleges that Dekraai “wrongfully,
carelessly, recklessly, wantonly and unlawfully used a gun to shoot and
kill Christy Lynn Wilson, a long-time salon employee.” It seeks payment for the 47-year-old's hospital and
funeral expenses and the loss of her “love, care,
Noting that Wilson lived for a short time after she was shot, the lawsuit also seeks punitive and exemplary
damages “to punish Scott Dekraai and hold him accountable for what the
attorneys describe as 'a detestable and senseless crime.'”
“We cannot change the horrendous circumstances of what happened that
day,” Susolik says in a statement. “However, we can hold Scott
Dekraai accountable with this legal process and hope that by doing so,
justice will be served for this family and the families of the other
The statement also includes these words from Paul Wilson: “My kids no
longer have a mother. I no longer have a wife, best friend and soul
mate. We were married for 24 years and she was our world. My life and my
kids' lives will never be the same. Somebody must be accountable and
answer for that.”
The attorneys for the families of the deceased believe Dekraai has assets that could be used to pay any judgments
against him, citing his Huntington Beach home, a Seal
Beach condo and home, Seal Beach property he inherited from his
grandfather and disability income from a tugboat
accident several years ago.
Though both shared custody of their son,
Dekraai and Fournier were embroiled in a long, bitter custody battle for
him. Both had sought to reduce the amount of time the boy spent with
the other parent.
Seal Beach police last week released the
affidavit used to search Dekraai's home after the killing spree. He is
said to have confessed to a detective after
his arrest that he sat on the sand at Bolsa Chica State Beach on the
morning of the Oct. 12 massacre and pondered killing Fournier. He
admitted to going on to arm himself with handguns, extra magazines and
before driving to Salon Meritage, immediately walking
up to his ex- and shooting her multiple times, according to court
Dekraai is said to have told the police officer who arrested him, “I know what I did.”
OC Weekly Editor-in-Chief Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the alternative newsweekly’s first calendar editor.