KABC Features Alliance Between Defense Lawyer and Murder Victim’s Spouse

OC corruption leads to unlikely friendship

KABC-TV  in Los Angeles this week featured the unlikely alliance between a mass shooter’s Orange County defense attorney and  the husband of one of the victims.

The  station’s Eileen Frere and Lisa Bartley interviewed Scott Sanders, the assistant public defender who represented Seal Beach salon killer Scott Dekraai, inside the home of Paul Wilson, who lost his wife Christy in Oct. 2011, tragedy that took eight lives.

The reason for the once impossible friendship between Sanders and Wilson, which OC Weekly first revealed in May, is clear.

Over a period of years, Wilson begrudgingly saw validity in the lawyer’s exposure of entrenched corruption at Tony Rackauckas’ district attorney’s office and Sandra Hutchens’ sheriff’s department.

Wilson asked the defining question of Dekraai’s trial: What kind of  law enforcement officials feel the need to cheat in a slam-dunk death penalty case?

That remorseless corruption lead to the historic, 2015 removal of Rackauckas and his entire office from prosecution duties in Dekraai as well as a punishment of life in prison without the possibility of parole, instead of the death penalty.

Free and Bartley also interviewed California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on the status of his alleged, multi-year investigation into the sheriff’s department.

Hutchens is retiring, but the 75-year-old Rackauckas hopes voters will give him a sixth, four-year term in the Nov. 6 election.

Go HERE to watch the seven-minute KABC broadcast.

R. Scott Moxley’s award-winning investigative journalism has touched nerves for two decades. An angry congressman threatened to break Moxley’s knee caps. A dirty sheriff promised his critical reporting was irrelevant and then landed in prison. The U.S. House of Representatives debated his work. Federal prosecutors credited his stories for the arrest of a doctor who sold fake medicine to dying patients. Moxley has won Journalist of the Year honors at the Los Angeles Press Club; been named Distinguished Journalist of the Year by the LA Society of Professional Journalists; and hailed by two New York Times Magazine writers for his “herculean job” exposing Southern California law enforcement corruption.

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