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Trial set on accessory charges for Rachel Buffett, ex-fiancée of double murderer Daniel Wozniak

Trial set on accessory charges for Rachel Buffett, ex-fiancée of double murderer Daniel Wozniak
Rachel Buffett is accused of being an accessory after the fact for her former fiancé, convicted double murderer Daniel Wozniak. (File Photo)

A jury trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 9 for Rachel Buffett, who is accused of being an accessory after the fact for her former fiancé, convicted double murderer Daniel Wozniak.

Buffett is charged with three felony counts of accessory after the fact or knowledge of a crime. A pretrial conference is scheduled for Jan. 19 in Orange County Superior Court.

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The families of Wozniak's victims, Sam Herr, 26, and Juri "Julie" Kibuishi, 23, were in court for Tuesday's trial scheduling and later huddled in the hallway with Matt Murphy, senior deputy district attorney.

"We're ready for another jury trial," Steve Herr, Sam's father, told Murphy.

June Kibuishi said she's frustrated that Buffett hasn't been held accountable for what authorities believe were lies to police about her daughter's death.

"We've already learned over the past seven years, that's how the system goes," Kibuishi said. "I know in my heart she was involved."

Daniel Wozniak, right, sits in court in September 2016 shortly before being sentenced to death for the murders of two people.
Daniel Wozniak, right, sits in court in September 2016 shortly before being sentenced to death for the murders of two people. (AP)

In May 2010, Wozniak, a community theater actor, needed money for rent and his upcoming wedding and honeymoon with Buffett, authorities said. He plotted to kill Herr, his neighbor at the Camden Martinique apartment complex in Costa Mesa, prosecutors said.

Wozniak wanted to steal $62,000 that Herr saved from serving in the Army in Afghanistan. After shooting Herr at a Los Alamitos theater, Wozniak used Herr's phone to lure Julie Kibuishi to go to Herr's apartment, where he shot her twice in the head.

After performing in a play, Wozniak dismembered Herr's body so he could hide it at El Dorado Nature Center in Long Beach. He staged the scene of Kibuishi's murder to appear as though Herr had raped her and fled, prosecutors said.

Wozniak was arrested at his bachelor party days after the killings after ATM withdrawals from Herr's bank account led police to him. Police said Wozniak confessed to both slayings after he called Buffett from jail.

In a recording of the call played for jurors at his trial, Wozniak learned police would soon discover a bag of evidence, including the murder weapon.

He was convicted in December 2015 of two counts of murder and was later sentenced to death.

Buffett was arrested in 2012.

Fry is a Daily Pilot staff writer. Langhorne is a contributor to Times Community News.

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