Prosecutors will seek the death penalty against Daniel Wozniak, the Costa Mesa man accused of killing and beheading his neighbor then killing a friend of the neighbor to cover up the first crime, Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas announced Thursday.
The Wozniak case marks the first this year in which the county's top prosecutor and his team are seeking the death penalty. It is the second murder case in Costa Mesa in 2010.
"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," Rackauckas said at a news conference in Santa Ana.
On Thursday morning, Rackauckas and his office's Special Circumstances Committee decided that the details behind the slaying of Samuel Herr, 26, and Juri "Julie" Kibuishi, 23 — both Orange Coast College students — warranted death for their suspected killer.
Wozniak, 26, is charged with killing Herr for money, then killing Kibuishi in Herr's apartment and staging it like a sexual assault so investigators would think that Herr did it and was on the run.