SANTA ANA, Calif. — Attorneys are wrapping up a lengthy hearing over the use of jailhouse informants in Orange County that a killer’s lawyers hope will spare him the death penalty.
Lawyers made closing arguments Thursday over whether the penalty phase should proceed for Scott Dekraai. The judge is likely to rule in about a week.
Dekraai’s lawyers say the Sheriff Department’s use of informants to cull information from inmates and reluctance to share related evidence show the agency can’t be trusted. They want Judge Thomas Goethals to remove the death penalty as an option.
The state attorney general’s office says any misconduct in the case has not eliminated Dekraai’s ability to get a fair trial.
Dekraai has pleaded guilty to killing eight people at a hair salon in 2011.
Goethals previously yanked the county district attorney’s office from the case over related allegations.