California salon shooting suspect had rough life

By GILLIAN FLACCUS | October 18, 2011 | 3:57 AM EDT

SEAL BEACH, Calif. (AP) — The bitter father charged with gunning down his ex-wife and eight others at a beauty salon should have had an idyllic Southern California childhood.

He spent his formative years just blocks from the beach with his beloved grandparents, fished from the pier with friends and surfed along the wide, sandy beaches of his hometown.

But as an adult, Scott Dekraai's life spiraled ever more out of control, and police say a bitter custody battle over his 8-year-old son triggered his spasm of violence.

The 41-year-old showed no emotion Friday at his first court appearance hours after prosecutors said they would seek the death penalty.

He postponed entering pleas on eight counts of murder and one count of attempted murder in the rampage at Salon Meritage.