Ex-Fiancée of Murder-Dismemberment Defendant to Be Arraigned

The 25-year-old Costa Mesa actress is accused of lying to police to help the actor escape punishment for the two killings he's charged with.

An actress accused of lying to cover up her ex-fiancé's alleged involvement in a 2010 slaying and dismemberment in Los Alamitos is scheduled to be arraigned Friday morning.

Rachel Mae Buffett, 25, of Costa Mesa, was the fiancée of Daniel Patrick Wozniak, who is accused of murdering and dismembering his neighbor inside a Los Alamitos theater on the Joint Forces Training Base and then killing the victim's friend in an elaborate plot to cover up the first murder.

Authorities allege Buffett fabricated one of the victim’s family problems to throw suspicion off Wozniak and help him “avoid and escape from arrest, trial, conviction and punishment for the felony,” according to a statement from the Orange County district attorney’s office.

Due to be arraigned in Santa Ana at 10 a.m. Friday, Buffet faces three felony counts of accessory after the fact. If convicted, she would face a maximum sentence of three years and eight months in state prison.

Buffett was arrested Nov. 20 and is being held on $100,000 bail. Buffett lists her occupation as actress. 

Prosecutors allege that Wozniak planned to raid the victim's bank accounts to pay for the engaged couple's wedding. 

Buffett was engaged to marry Wozniak in May 2010, when he was arrested and charged with the murders of Samuel Eliezer Herr, 26, and Juri Julie Kibuishi, 23, of Irvine.

Wozniak, 26, was indicted on murder charges and pleaded not guilty in May 2012.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Wozniak.

Wozniak's brother, Timothy Wozniak, 38, was arrested and charged in January with being an accessory to murder, Dondero said. Timothy Wozniak pleaded not guilty in February and was due in court Thursday.

Daniel Wozniak is next due in court Dec. 14 for a pretrial hearing, when a judge will consider motions to suppress evidence and a motion to dismiss the case.

Wozniak was a community theater actor who would perform in a production of "Nine'' in Fullerton after each slaying, authorities have alleged.

Wozniak killed Herr at the Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base, Deputy District Attorney Matt Murphy has alleged.

Then he lured Kibuishi back to Herr's apartment, fatally shot her and then took off some of her clothes to make it appear Herr killed her, Murphy alleges.

Wozniak then returned to the theater on the military base, where, authorities allege, he dismembered the victim, then scattered the body parts in the El Dorado Park Nature Center in Long Beach.

Authorities have alleged he was trying to cover up the first crime.

Wozniak was arrested at his bachelor party at a Huntington Beach restaurant.

The D.A.’s office accuses Buffett of lying to the police about Herr’s relationship with his family, telling investigators he was having trouble with his relatives.

-- City News Service contributed to this story. 

tiny November 30, 2012 at 01:49 AM
All this bad news. How about some comedy: www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-BYzaDwNoE


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »