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Wozniak murder case awaits preliminary hearing

The Costa Mesa man accused of killing two people in a gruesome 2010 incident has been in custody for a year and six months.

December 09, 2011|By Lauren Williams

NEWPORT BEACH — The Costa Mesa man charged with two murders and a handful of sentencing enhancements in a grisly killing last year has yet to have a preliminary hearing, but has been in custody for a year and six months.

A judge Friday said that the case against Daniel Patrick Wozniak, 27, needed to progress with a hearing that would show if there is substantial evidence for Wozniak to stand trial for allegedly killing his neighbor, Samuel Herr, 26, and Juri "Julie" Kibuishi, 23.

Family members and Wozniak nodded their heads in response to the judge's stern lecture about moving the case forward.

"I'm just, I'm done," said Stephanie George in a Harbor Justice Center courtroom Friday morning. "This thing needs resolution, and we need to move it forward."

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Herr's father, Stephen Herr, addressed the court, saying he was eager for the case to go to trial.

Deputy District Attorney Matt Murphy said in court that both he and Wozniak's two attorneys had the same materials, but were waiting for additional evidence from Costa Mesa police.

After court proceedings, the parents of Herr and Kibuishi said they have been coming to each court appearance, and are eager for the justice system to move closer toward a jury trial.

In an attempt to get cash before his upcoming wedding, Wozniak is accused of killing and dismembering Herr, an Army veteran and Orange Coast College student, and framing him for sexually assaulting Kibuishi in May of 2010. He was arrested at his bachelor party in Huntington Beach five days after Herr's death, and attempted to commit suicide while in jail.

Wozniak is charged with two felony counts of murder, two felony counts of use of a firearm, and four sentencing enhancements, according to court records.

He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

lauren.williams@latimes.com

Twitter: @lawilliams30

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