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 pleaded guilty to eight counts of murder and one count of attempted murder, for which he received a term of seven years to life. He received 25 years to life for a gun enhancement on each of nine counts. The case dragged on for years because of a scandal over authorities’ use of informants to cull information from Dekraai and others housed in Orange County jails.
Dekraai had been locked in a custody dispute with ex-wife Michelle Fournier over their 8-year-old son when he entered Salon Meritage in Seal Beach wearing a bulletproof vest and armed with three weapons.
Dekraai shot and killed Fournier before turning his guns on the salon owner, stylists and customers, as well as a man sitting in his car in the parking lot. He was arrested within minutes of the rampage.
— Associated Press
The trial of the alleged ringleader of the 2012 attacks on U.S. facilities that killed four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, set to begin Monday, will be postponed one week to Oct. 2, a federal judge ordered Friday.
U.S. District Judge Christopher R. “Casey” Cooper approved the request after 12 jurors and three alternates were seated, including nine women and six men.
Federal prosecutors in Washington did not oppose the request made Thursday by lawyers for Ahmed Abu Khattala, 46, a Libyan militia leader captured in June 2014. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges of conspiring in the attacks on Sept. 11 and 12, 2012, which killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone S. Woods and Glen Doherty.
— Spencer S. Hsu