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Costa Mesa man pleads not guilty in dismemberment case

Daniel WozniakA Costa Mesa man accused of killing two people pleaded not guilty and denied sentencing enhancements at his arraignment on Friday.

Daniel Patrick Wozniak, 28, is scheduled to go back to court May 25 to set a trial date. He was indicted by a grand jury on Thursday after prosecutors chose to skip a preliminary hearing and fast-track the case.

Prosecutors charged him with two counts of felony murder, with sentencing enhancements including murder for financial gain and felony use of a firearm, the Daily Pilot reported.

Wozniak allegedly killed Samuel Herr, 26, and Juri "Julie" Kibuishi, 23, both Orange Coast College students, in May 2010, according to the Orange County district attorney's office.

Prosecutors allege that Wozniak killed Herr, who lived in his apartment building in Costa Mesa, in order to steal money from his bank account. He allegedly lured the Army veteran to the military reserve base in Los Alamitos, shot him and then dismembered his body, stashing some of the remains in a Long Beach park.

Wozniak is alleged to have then used Herr's cellphone to lure Kibuishi, who was tutoring Herr, to Herr's apartment, where Wozniak allegedly shot her.

He had hoped to frame Herr for her death, which he staged to look like a sexual assault and murder, prosecutors allege.

Wozniak, a community theater actor, was arrested at his bachelor party in Huntington Beach the day before he was going to get married.


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-- Lauren Williams, Times Community News

Photo: Daniel Patrick Wozniak. Credit: Costa Mesa Police Department


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L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
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