Judge Thomas Goethals’ ruling Friday, Aug. 18, that mass murderer Scott Dekraai cannot face the death penalty surprised and angered some who expected he would be sentenced to die. Others, however, were relieved that Dekraai soon should be sentenced nearly six years after he killed eight people in and around a Seal Beach salon in 2011.
He later pleaded guilty to their murders.
Dekraai has been awaiting his sentencing during hearings that examined the Orange County justice system.
“My friend Kaesen’s mom Christy Wilson was taken away in that shooting,” said Tanner Nelson, a 24-year-old instructional aide from Seal Beach who was walking his German shepherd puppy near Salon Meritage on Friday. “So, yeah, I think the guy deserves the death penalty.
“Anybody who kills someone deserves the death penalty. But this hits home.”
The wait for Dekraai to be sentenced has weighed heavily on the victims’ families and local residents who hoped to move forward in their lives.
“Good. Now the families who have been through so much can get on with their lives,” Jed Shafer, a 64-year-old Seal Beach resident, said. “The death penalty would have meant endless appeals, endless court hearings.”
Here’s a sampling of some of the reaction immediately after Goethals’ decision:
— OC Sheriff, CA (@OCSD) August 18, 2017
BTW Dekraai killed EIGHT people but the judge is concerned with the Sheriff. Liberals are destroying this country. https://t.co/pS2ezZJhEU
— Cathy O’Dell Town (@youlivethrice) August 18, 2017
Vote Democrat? this is what you get “Scott Dekraai”
— Simon Ballister (@sballister) August 18, 2017
If he doesn’t face the death penalty, that judge should recuse himself. Put someone on the bench who will sentence Dekraai to death. https://t.co/qIjeTwK7vc
— The Case Place L.A. (@thecaseplaceLA) August 18, 2017
More to come on this story.