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Man pleads not guilty to double murder

Daniel Wozniak, 28, of Costa Mesa will be back in court May 25 to set a trial date.

May 04, 2012|By Lauren Williams

SANTA ANA — A Costa Mesa man accused of killing two Orange Coast College students pleaded not guilty and denied sentencing enhancements during his arraignment Friday morning.

Daniel Patrick Wozniak, 28, is scheduled to go back to court May 25 to set a trial date.

Prosecutors have charged him with two counts of felony murder, with sentencing enhancements that include murder for financial gain, and felony use of a firearm.

Wozniak, dressed in an orange jumpsuit, appeared unshaven before Orange County Superior Judge Craig Robison. He was kept with about six other inmates in an enclosed area of the courtroom.

Wozniak allegedly killed his apartment complex neighbor, Samuel Herr, and Herr's friend and tutor, Juri "Julie" Kibuishi, in May 2010, according to the Orange County district attorney's office.

Herr's mother and father were at Friday's arraignment.

Prosecutors allege that Wozniak, to steal from Herr's bank account, shot and killed him after luring him to the military base in Los Alamitos. Wozniak then allegedly dismembered the 26-year-old Army veteran's body and stashed some of the remains in a park in Long Beach.

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Acting as Herr by using his cell phone, prosecutors contend, Wozniak text-messaged Kibuishi, 23, to get her to come to Herr's apartment, where he allegedly shot her the morning of May 22.

Wozniak had hoped to frame Herr for Kibuishi's 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.

lauren.williams@latimes.com

Twitter: @lawilliams30

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