Remarks by District Attorney Tony Rackauckas – Daniel Wozniak Death Penalty Decision

Remarks by District Attorney Tony Rackauckas 

Daniel Wozniak Death Penalty Decision

June 10, 2010


Thank you for coming. I have here with me Costa Mesa Police Chief Chris Shawkey. He will be addressing you soon.


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. At 9:00 a.m. today, I convened a meeting of the Orange County District Attorney’s Special Circumstances Committee. The Committee considered what penalty fits this special circumstances double execution with a firearm.


How tragic is this murder plot? A greedy groom — in the pursuit of ill gotten gain –dismembers a young man and discards him like a piece of garbage, after executing him. In an effort to derail the investigation and frame the first victim, he partially disrobes and dishonors a young woman, after executing her.


For the execution-murder for financial gain of 26-year-old man Samuel Herr – we are seeking the death penalty.


For the execution murder for financial gain of 23-year-old woman Julie Kibuishi – we are seeking the death penalty.


At 10:00 a.m. today, Chief Shawkey, the prosecution team, other law enforcement officials, and I met with Ms. Kibuishi’s family. We will soon meet with Mr. Herr’s family. These victims deserve to be remembered for who they were and what they would have been, not just for the terrible fate they met.


This case will be handled as a Special Prosecutions Case, where the best team will be put together and supervised by me personally. California law permits the District Attorney to seek the death penalty if the aggravating factors substantially outweigh any mitigating factors.


Some of the factors considered by the Committee are that the defendant is accused of:


*Violating his position of trust as someone the victims recognized as a friend.

*Plotting to steal Mr. Herr’s substantial savings and luring the victim to a remote location.

*Stealing the victim’s wallet and cell phone.

*Acting in a play and going about his life after Mr. Herr’s murder.

*Using the victim’s cell phone to lure Ms. Kibuishi.