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Orange County judge: Separate juries will hear trial, penalty phase in salon killings trial

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SANTA ANA, California — An judge says separate juries will hear the trial and potential penalty phase of a man accused of gunning down eight people at a Southern California hair salon in 2011

Orange County Superior Court Judge Thomas M. Goethals made the unusual move Monday with hopes of speeding up the frequently delayed murder trial of Scott Dekraai by making it easier to find a jury. The judge acknowledged there would have to be a delay if Dekraai is convicted to find another jury to decide whether he should receive the death penalty.

Prosecutors denied the allegations.

Dekraai's attorney Scott Sanders had alleged authorities improperly used jailhouse informants, and asked the judge remove the death penalty from consideration and recuse the district attorney's office.

Trial is now scheduled for June 9.

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