Accused killer's ex pleads not guilty to helping him

A 25-year-old woman pleaded not guilty Monday to helping her then-fiance after he allegedly killed a man from Costa Mesa and a woman from Irvine, court records show.

Rachel Mae Buffett, 25, of Long Beach, faces three felony counts of accessory after the fact in connection with the 2010 murders of Samuel Herr, 26, of Costa Mesa, and Juri "Julie" Kibuishi, 23, of Irvine, according to authorities.

Her former fiance, Daniel Patrick Wozniak, 28, of Costa Mesa is accused of killing Herr at a theater at the military reserve base in Los Alamitos, dismembering and beheading his remains and leaving his body parts in a Long Beach park.

Wozniak is also accused of luring Kibuishi, Herr's tutor and friend, to Herr's apartment and killing her and staging it to look like a sexual assault to fool police.

Wozniak has pleaded not guilty to two felony counts of murder and denied that he is responsible for actions that would lead to six sentencing enhancements. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.

Authorities have said Buffett repeated the myth that Herr had family problems to police, although her family has contested the charges and said she has been cooperative and forthcoming with police.

Buffett faces up to three years and eight months in prison, if convicted. She is next expected in court Friday.

— Lauren Williams

Twitter: @lawilliams30

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