SANTA ANA, Calif. — A former tugboat operator who was in a custody fight with his ex-wife pleaded guilty Friday to killing her and seven others in a shooting rampage at a California hair salon in 2011.
Scott Dekraai, 44, looked only at the judge as he entered his pleas to eight counts of murder and one count of attempted murder with special circumstances and enhancements in Orange County Superior Court.
‘‘After today you will not be an alleged killer anymore, you are going to be a convicted murderer,’’ Judge Thomas M. Goethals told Dekraai.
Prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty.
Dekraai’s lawyer has said his client entered the pleas to spare victims’ relatives from a trial. However, he said Dekraai will fight to keep from being sentenced to death.
‘‘It’s another dose of reality in dealing with this,’’ said Paul Wilson, whose wife was killed.