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Calif. man accused in deadly hair salon rampage pleads not guilty to murder charges
SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) ' A man accused in a shooting rampage at a Southern California hair salon pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges of killing his ex-wife and seven others.
Scott Dekraai was arraigned on eight counts of murder and one count of attempted murder in Orange County Superior Court in Santa Ana. Prosecutors say he donned a bulletproof vest before shooting his ex-wife, Michelle Fournier, and others at Salon Meritage in Seal Beach on Oct. 12.
Eight people were killed and one wounded in the carnage. The victims included salon workers and patrons and a passerby.
After his arrest a few blocks away, Dekraai told police that he shot Fournier, her friend and the salon's owner who headed toward him with scissors, and a number of others whom he saw as "collateral damage," court papers showed.
Prosecutors were seeking the death penalty for Dekraai, who was immersed in a custody dispute with his ex-wife over their 8-year-old son.
Defense attorney Scott Sanders declined to comment on the case.
Court papers showed that Dekraai, a former tugboat operator, was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after a 2007 accident left him unable to work. The 42-year-old had also told the family court-appointed psychologist that he had been diagnosed as bipolar, according to John Cate, Fournier's attorney.
Dekraai was being held in jail without bail.