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NEWS
January 12, 2011
The Orange County district attorney's office said Monday it was seeking the death penalty for a Garden Grove man charged in the execution-style slaying of two people so he could steal a car. Hilbert Pineil Thomas, 39, is charged in the February 2009 killings of Matthew Francis Scott and Fountain Valley resident Elizabeth Ann Palmer. Both were shot in the head, prosecutors said. Thomas wanted to steal Palmer's car and walked into Golden Sun Homes, a Stanton business, according to prosecutors.
NEWS
By Joseph Serna | June 16, 2010
Prosecutors will seek the death penalty against Daniel Wozniak, the Costa Mesa man accused of killing and beheading his neighbor then killing a friend of the neighbor to cover up the first crime, Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas announced Thursday. The Wozniak case marks the first this year in which the county's top prosecutor and his team are seeking the death penalty. It is the second murder case in Costa Mesa in 2010. "Some murders are committed with such a depraved heart and in such a callous manner that the only punishment that fits the crime is the death penalty," Rackauckas said at a news conference in Santa Ana. On Thursday morning, Rackauckas and his office's Special Circumstances Committee decided that the details behind the slaying of Samuel Herr, 26, and Juri "Julie" Kibuishi, 23 — both Orange Coast College students — warranted death for their suspected killer.
FEATURES
By MICHÈLE MARR | January 5, 2006
Bald. Tattooed. Pierced. Outspoken. That's how Jeff Ludington described himself to me over the phone a few days before Christmas. It was a reminder; I've met Ludington, leader of Emerge, the college and young adult ministry of Christ Presbyterian Church, face-to-face more than once. He is also soft-spoken, contagious in his energy and as excited about living for Jesus Christ as anyone I've ever met. In December, while the controversy over whether to execute Stanley "Tookie" Williams raged internationally, I made phone calls and sent out e-mails to a number of local religious leaders asking them to offer their perspectives on the death penalty.
NEWS
By: Tania Chatila | August 27, 2005
Prosecutors will seek the death penalty for Juan Manuel Alvarez, accused of murdering 11 people in the January Metrolink train derailment, the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office announced in court Friday. A committee met Wednesday to go over the case, and the chairman of the committee, Kurt Hazell, made the final decision, said Sandi Gibbons, spokeswoman for the District Attorney's Office. "It's not a popular vote," she said. "But the committee discusses the case and the chairman makes the final decision."
FEATURES
By MICHÈLE MARR | December 29, 2005
I watched the man, a stranger, look at the Russian enamel crucifix hanging from the silver chain around my neck. Every few seconds he'd look at me looking at him, then look back to the crucifix. Finally, looking at me, he said, "Do you ever wonder if in another 2,000 years people will be wearing a guy in an electric chair around their necks?" It's an indelible moment. I'm fairly certain the man meant his question to pack a wallop. And it did. Ten years later, it's indifferent reduction of Jesus to "a guy," to just one more common criminal and its commentary that our modern practices of capital punishment are just as barbaric as the Roman's crucifixion are still very much with me. Most recently, the question floated to the surface of my thoughts again while the world debated whether Stanley "Tookie" Williams should be executed for the murders for which he was convicted.
LOCAL
June 11, 2009
The man convicted of murdering five firefighters, one of them from Fountain Valley, was sentenced to death by a Riverside judge Friday. Raymond Lee Oyler, 38, was convicted in March on five counts of first-degree murder for starting a fire in San Gorgonio Pass in the Beaumont area that ultimately enveloped the five men in October 2006, confirmed John Hall, a public information officer for the Riverside County district attorney’s office....
NEWS
By Paloma Esquivel, Los Angeles Times | April 28, 2014
The man accused of gunning down eight people at a Seal Beach hair salon in 2011 will plead guilty to eight counts of special circumstances murder and one count of attempted murder, his lawyer said Monday. Scott Dekraai, who, according to prosecutors, was seeking revenge on his ex-wife when he opened fire at the Salon Meritage, has "felt for a while that he really needs to give at least the victims the sense that he's not seeking to have this go on forever," said his lawyer, Assistant Public Defender Scott Sanders.
NEWS
By Britney Barnes | March 9, 2010
The audience applauded and one man yelled “yes” as the serial killer responsible for the death of a 12-year-old Huntington Beach girl more than 30 years ago was sentenced to death around 4 p.m. Tuesday, witnesses said. Rodney James Alcala, 66, was given the death penalty for the murder and kidnapping of Robin Samsoe in 1979 and the murder of four Los Angeles women in the 1970s. Alcala was convicted of five counts of murder Feb. 25. “There are 36 people now that all agree that this man deserves to die,” said Robert Samsoe, the brother of victim Robin.
NEWS
October 19, 2012
SANTA ANA - A hearing for the man accused of walking into a Seal Beach salon and killing eight people, including his ex-wife, was continued Friday to Jan. 25. While Scott Dekraai's trial is still set for March 25, Judge Thomas Goethals said he wants to check in with the attorneys on both sides after this year's elections, since the results of Prop. 34 could change the dynamics of the case. Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas is seeking the death penalty in Dekraai's case, but Prop.
NEWS
December 13, 2001
In response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Surf City Assemblyman Tom Harman, along with other California Republicans, are backing several new anti-terrorism bills that will be introduced to the state legislature when it reconvenes next month. Harman calls it a "Republican-backed package" of 15 bills that call for increasing criminal penalties for terrorism acts, such as placement of biological agents, toxins, or destructive devices on or near bridges, tunnels or roads, and would allow law enforcement to use wiretaps to investigate terrorist activity.
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NEWS
By Adolfo Flores, Los Angeles Times | May 2, 2014
The man accused of gunning down eight people at a Seal Beach hair salon pleaded guilty Friday, setting the stage for a legal battle over whether he should be put to death for the 2011 slayings. Scott Dekraai, who prosecutors said heavily armed himself before walking into a neighborhood beauty salon and opening fire, pleaded guilty to eight counts of special circumstances murder and one count of attempted murder, making him eligible for the death penalty. But whether the former tug boat captain winds up on death row remains an open question.
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NEWS
By Paloma Esquivel, Los Angeles Times | April 28, 2014
The man accused of gunning down eight people at a Seal Beach hair salon in 2011 will plead guilty to eight counts of special circumstances murder and one count of attempted murder, his lawyer said Monday. Scott Dekraai, who, according to prosecutors, was seeking revenge on his ex-wife when he opened fire at the Salon Meritage, has "felt for a while that he really needs to give at least the victims the sense that he's not seeking to have this go on forever," said his lawyer, Assistant Public Defender Scott Sanders.
NEWS
By Paloma Esquivel | March 24, 2014
The trial for the man charged with killing eight people in a Seal Beach salon will split into two separate phases, with two different sets of jurors asked to decide the ultimate fate of the accused mass murderer, a judge ruled Monday. The first phase, the actual trial, would begin in June. If convicted, Scott Dekraai faces the death penalty for allegedly walking into Salon Meritage in October 2011 and opening fire, killing his ex-wife and seven others in the county's deadliest shooting.
NEWS
By Paloma Esquivel | February 27, 2014
Attorneys for the man charged with killing eight people in a Seal Beach salon three years ago have accused Orange County prosecutors and sheriff's deputies of running an unconstitutional jailhouse informant operation that ensnared their client and other inmates. Scott Dekraai 's public defenders say that the district attorney's office oversaw an “unchecked and lawless custodial informant program” which resulted in systemic constitutional violations and kept defense attorneys in the dark about the so-called jailhouse snitches, the Los Angeles Times reports . Dekraai faces the death penalty for allegedly walking into  Salon Meritage  on Oct. 12, 2011 and opening fire, killing his ex-wife and seven others in the county's deadliest shooting.
OCNOW
January 7, 2013
"Convicted California serial killer Rodney Alcala , a contestant on "The Dating Game" television show more than 30 years ago, was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison on Monday for murdering two New York women in the 1970s," according to Reuters. Alcala was convicted in 2010 for the 1979 slaying of Robin Samsoe, a 12-year-old girl who was kidnapped while riding her bicycle to an afternoon ballet class in Huntington Beach. His first and second convictions in the girl's murder were overturned.
NEWS
October 19, 2012
SANTA ANA - A hearing for the man accused of walking into a Seal Beach salon and killing eight people, including his ex-wife, was continued Friday to Jan. 25. While Scott Dekraai's trial is still set for March 25, Judge Thomas Goethals said he wants to check in with the attorneys on both sides after this year's elections, since the results of Prop. 34 could change the dynamics of the case. Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas is seeking the death penalty in Dekraai's case, but Prop.
NEWS
June 20, 2012
California serial killer Rodney Alcala arrived in New York on Wednesday to stand trial in the killings of two women in the 1970s. Manhattan prosecutors announced that Alcala was being extradicted to face charges in the slayings of  Cornelia Crilley and Ellen Hover,  according to  the Associated Press and WCBS. Authorities have long suspected that Alcala, who is now in a California prison under a death sentence, had struck outside of California. The photographer and onetime "Dating Game" contestant was convicted in 2010  of murdering four Los Angeles County women and a 12-year-old girl from Huntington Beach in the late 1970s.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Mona Shadia | November 30, 2011
SANTA ANA — The Huntington Beach man accused of walking into a Seal Beach salon and killing eight people pleaded not guilty Tuesday in front of a courtroom packed with emotional family members and friends of the victims. A preliminary hearing was set for Scott Dekraai, 42, on April 24, but his public defender, Scott Sanders, said it's unlikely he will be prepared in time. Dekraai of Huntington Beach is accused of walking into Salon Meritage on Oct. 12, where prosecutors say he shot at anyone inside, eventually killing eight and injuring a ninth.
NEWS
By Mona Shadia | October 19, 2011
SANTA ANA - The Huntington Beach man accused in the worst shooting rampage in Orange County appeared in court Friday, where he faced eight counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted murder and the pained remarks of the victims' grieving family members. The charges in Orange County Superior Court include special circumstances that could result in the death penalty, which Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas is seeking. The arraignment for Scott Evans Dekraai, who turned 42 Monday, at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana was postponed to Nov. 29. His defense attorney requested more time to prepare for the case and assemble a team.
NEWS
By Mona Shadia | October 19, 2011
When it came to her sports team, Laura Elody was one of the guys. She bragged when the Raiders, Dodgers or Detroit Red Wings won, but she was lighthearted about it and would never put others' teams down, said her neighbor, Jason Pescevic. "She was just always smiling and a welcoming person," Pescevic said. Elody, 46, was shot to death while styling her mother's hair Oct. 12 at Salon Meritage in Seal Beach. Her mother, Harriet Stretz, 73, was also shot, but was recently released from the hospital.
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