The conduct behind bars of the suspected worst mass killer in Orange County history may play a role in his death penalty trial, according to a prosecutor.
Assistant District Attorney Dan Wagner will file paperwork in court detailing a January incident where Scott Evans Dekraai became so disruptive in his cell, he threw shit at deputies and had to be restrained.
That could be considered “aggravating evidence'' in a death penalty phase if Dekraai is convicted, Wagner told City News Service.
Dekraai is accused of shooting (and confessing to shooting) nine people–and killing eight of them–in and outside Salon Meritage in Seal Beach on Oct. 12, 2011.
He is charged with eight counts of murder, with a special circumstance allegation of multiple murders, and one count of attempted murder. Salon owner Randy Lee Fannin, 62; Victoria Ann Buzzo, 54; Lucia Bernice Kondas, 65; Laura Lee Elody, 46; Michele Daschbach Fast, 47; Christy Wilson, 47; David Caouette, 64; and Dekraai's 48-year-old ex-wife, Michelle Fournier, were gunned down. Only Hattie Stretz, 73, survived her injuries.
Deputies used pepper balls to restrain Dekraai Jan. 26 before he was taken to the medical ward for a mental health evaluation, according to Jim Amormino, the Orange County Sheriff's Department spokesman.
Dekraai appeared to be “unhappy because he's not in general population,'' Amormino said. The defendant was put in isolation for his own safety, a typical protocol for well-known inmates, the spokesman added.
Dekraai was in court Tuesday so his defense attorneys can seek more information about a confidential informant who chatted with their client about the shootings over a five-day period. Orange County Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals told attorneys that
the Sheriff's Department cannot provide the defense with all of the logs of jail visits because they are typically destroyed after a year.
The defense wants to identify the jailhouse snitch in case his background can lead to a motion to prevent jurors from hearing or reading his testimony.
The prosecution believes it can convict Dekraai without the informant but want to use some of the next-door cell chats for the penalty phase.