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O.C. prosecutors to seek death penalty against stage actor in double murder

June 10, 2010 |  2:03 pm

Danielwozniak Orange County prosecutors said Thursday they will seek the death penalty against a stage actor arrested in the bizarre double murder of a Costa Mesa Army veteran and his friend.

Daniel Wozniak, 26, of Costa Mesa, allegedly killed Samuel Herr, 26, and, later, Juri “Julie” Kibuishi, 23, to make it seem Herr was the killer, authorities said. Wozniak was arrested May 26 at his bachelor party at a Huntington Beach sushi restaurant.

“Some murders are committed with such a depraved heart and in such a callous manner that the only punishment that fits the crime is the death penalty,” said Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas.

According to police, Wozniak on May 21 drove his neighbor, Herr, to the theater at the Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base, where the sometime-stage actor had performed. He shot Herr and later dismembered his body, leaving parts of it in the theater's attic and taking the remainder to El Dorado Park in Long Beach, police said.

After killing Herr, Wozniak allegedly lured Kibuishi to Herr’s apartment. When she arrived, he shot her twice in the head and then removed some of her clothing so police would assume Herr was the killer, police said.

Prosecutors and police said they believe Wozniak murdered Herr and Kibuishi for money. He had financial problems, owed money to several friends and was about to be evicted from his apartment, police said.

He is charged with two felony counts of murder with two special circumstances – multiple murder and murder for financial gain –t hat make the case eligible for the death penalty.

He is being held without bail at Men’s Central Jail in Santa Ana.

-- Paloma Esquivel in Costa Mesa

Photo: Daniel Wozniak. Credit: Costa Mesa Police Department