SANTA ANA (AP) — Prosecutors say they won’t call a jailhouse informant to the stand in the trial of a man charged with murdering eight people in a 2011 Seal Beach beauty salon shooting.
Court documents filed Friday indicate prosecutors do plan to play several audio recordings of some of conversations suspect Scott Evans Dekraai had with the informant, according to the Orange County Register. Investigators covertly recorded more than 100 hours of conversations a week after Dekraai was arrested following a midday massacre at Salon Meritage on Oct. 12, 2011, where his ex-wife Michelle Fournier worked as a stylist. They had argued earlier in the day about custody of their son.
The conversations captured several instances of Dekraai talking about the shootings, the Register reported.
In an 18-page filing, Assistant District Attorney Dan Wagner said Dekraai made the remarks without prompting or quizzing from the informant, who was in a nearby cell.
Deputy Public Defender Scott Sanders filed a motion earlier this month demanding additional details about the jailhouse informant so that he can consider filing a motion to block the audio recordings as evidence in Dekraai’s trial.
Among other things, Sanders seeks details about any other cases the informant is cooperating on, any benefits he received from prosecutors and any reports or notes about his communications with Dekraai.
In his response Friday, Wagner insisted that the defense is not entitled to discovery of additional information about the informant because he will not be called by the prosecution as a witness.
Wagner said the informant did not initiate any conversation with Dekraai, asked no questions of Dekraai, and is heard on the tape making one-word utterances, such as “really?” ‘’wow,” and “huh,” the newspaper said.
Wagner and Sanders are scheduled to argue the motion during a pre-trial hearing Jan. 25.
Dekraai, 44, was indicted on eight counts of murder in January 2012. He has pleaded not guilty.