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Transcripts: Costa Mesa man confesses to killings

Daniel Patrick Wozniak, a community theater actor, allegedly told police he shot two OCC students, one of whom was his neighbor. He has pleaded not guilty.

May 25, 2012|By Lauren Williams

A Costa Mesa murder defendant told police that he killed two people in 2010 to gain access to one of his victim's bank accounts, according to Orange County Grand Jury transcripts released Friday.

Within a Costa Mesa police interview room Daniel Patrick Wozniak, 28, confessed that he killed Orange Coast College students Samuel Herr, 26, and Juri "Julie" Kibuishi, 23, according to the transcripts.

"I'm crazy and I did it" were the first words Wozniak said, Det. Mike Delgadillo testified May 3 before the grand jury.

"He said, 'I killed Sam first, and then I killed Julie,'" Delgadillo said. "He said it was all about the money. It was 100% about the money."

Wozniak, a community theater actor about to marry his fiancée, was twice read his Miranda rights to protect him against self-incrimination, according to the court papers.

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Wozniak told police that he took Herr, his neighbor in an apartment complex on Pinecreek Drive, to the Liberty Theater on the Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base on May 21 under the pretense of Herr helping him move some furniture, according to the court documents.

While Herr was bending over a piece of furniture that was in the attic, Wozniak told police that he shot Herr in the back of the head with a .38 caliber semi-automatic pistol he took from his father.

"At that point Sam fell to his knees, looked up at Mr. Wozniak and said, 'I have just been — something happened. I just got electrocuted,'" Delgadillo said.

Wozniak told police he tried to shoot him again, but the gun jammed. After clearing the jammed round, Wozniak told police he shot Herr once in the temple with Herr looking up at him.

Afterward, he allegedly left Herr's body in the attic and met with a 17-year-old boy he knew through community theater. Wozniak asked the boy to use Herr's account at different ATMs.

Herr had about $50,000 following his Army service as a combat veteran in Afghanistan. Wozniak planned to take $400 every few days, police told grand jurors.

The next day, Wozniak told police that he returned to the theater's attic with an ax and a saw — taken from his future in-laws' backyard — and a pair of scissors from the barber shop on the base, and began dismembering Herr's remains. Authorities said Wozniak disposed of some of Herr's body parts in a park in Long Beach and left others in the Los Alamitos theater.

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