Orange County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
OCDA TO SEEK DEATH PENALTY AGAINST MAN FOR DOUBLE EXECUTION-MURDER OF NEIGHBOR AND NEIGHBOR’S FRIEND FOR FINANCIAL GAIN
SANTA ANA – The Orange County District Attorney (OCDA) announced today that he will seek the death penalty against a man for using a firearm to murder his neighbor for financial gain and murdering the victim’s friend in an effort to derail the investigation by framing the first victim.
Daniel Patrick Wozniak, 26, Costa Mesa, is charged with two felony counts of special circumstances murder with special circumstance sentencing enhancements including multiple murders, murder for financial gain, and the personal discharge of a firearm causing death. Wozniak is being held without bail and is scheduled for a continued arraignment June 25, 2010, at 10:00 a.m. in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.
This case is being investigated by the Costa Mesa Police Department (CMPD) and is being prosecuted by Senior Deputy District Attorney Matt Murphy of the OCDA’s Homicide Unit.
The OCDA will handle this case as a Special Prosecutions Case, supervised by District Attorney Tony Rackauckas and prosecuted by a specially selected OCDA team. Other cases prosecuted as Special Prosecutions have included the death penalty cases against Rodney Alcala and Alejandro Avila, the public corruption case against George Jaramillo, and the 19-defendant, $154 million Unity insurance fraud case, the largest medical fraud prosecution in the nation.
Circumstances of the Crime
Prior to May 21, 2010, Wozniak is accused of plotting the murder of his neighbor, 26-year-old Samuel Herr, who lived in the same apartment complex with the intention of stealing the victim’s substantial savings. On the afternoon of May 21, 2010, Wozniak is accused of luring Herr from their Costa Mesa apartment complex and driving him to the theater facility at the Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base. The defendant is accused of being familiar with the theater because he had previously acted in plays at that location.
Once inside the theater, Wozniak is accused of murdering Herr by shooting him twice in the head with the intention of stealing the victim’s savings. He is accused of leaving Herr’s body in the theater and stealing the victim’s ATM card, wallet, and cell phone.
Later that evening, Wozniak is accused of using Herr’s cell phone to text message Herr’s friend, 23-year-old Juri “Julie” Kibuishi. The defendant is accused of also being acquainted with Kibuishi and was her “friend” on Facebook. Wozniak is accused of pretending to be Herr in the text messages and arranging with Kibuishi to come to Herr’s Costa Mesa apartment. The apartment is located in the Camden Martinique complex at 2855 Pinecreek Drive.
Shortly after midnight on May 22, 2010, Kibuishi arrived at Herr’s apartment. Wozniak is accused of meeting her at the door of Herr’s apartment and luring her inside into the bedroom, where he murdered her by shooting her twice in the head. Wozniak is accused of then partially removing Kibuishi’s clothing to stage the crime scene to appear as though the victim had been sexually assaulted.
On the afternoon of May 22, 2010, Wozniak is accused of returning to the theater, cutting off Herr’s clothes and dismembering the victim’s body by removing his head, left arm, and the lower portion of his right arm. He is accused of leaving the victim’s torso and legs in t