A former Disneyland Princess accused of lying to help her ex-fiancé cover-up a double-murder and dismemberment saw her bail amount cut in half in a Santa Ana courtroom Monday.
A judge lowered the bond for Rachel Mae Buffett, 25, from $100,000 to $50,000.
Authorities charge Buffett with misleading Costa Mesa Police officers during the investigation of her former fiancé, actor Daniel Patrick Wozniak.
Wozniak faces the death penalty if convicted of murdering and dismembering his neighbor Samuel Herr in a Los Alamitos Theater in order to gain access to his bank account and then killing the man’s friend, Juri “Julie” Kibuishi, in an elaborate ploy to cover up his crime.
He is also accused of taking part of Herr's body and hiding them around Long Beach's El Dorado Park, where they were found after his arrest.
Buffett’s attorney Anja Sharma-Wilson said she had attempted to have Buffett released on her own recognizance.
“She doesn’t even own a passport,” Sharma-Wilson said. “This girl is not a flight risk.”
Buffett is currently in custody, and Sharma-Wilson said she didn’t know if the family would be able to make the lower bail.
“I hope so, but I don’t know,” Sharma-Wilson said.
Buffett is due back in court Thursday morning for a preliminary hearing, and Sharma-Wilson said she’s looking forward to talking to prosecutors because she doesn’t see anything that would lead them to file felony charges against Buffett.
The senior deputy district attorney handling the case could not be reached for comment.
According to a statement from the Orange County District Attorney’s office, Buffett fabricated a story about Herr, 27, having family problems to throw suspicion off Wozniak and help him “avoid and escape from arrest, trial, conviction and punishment for the felony."
However, her family and her attorney have repeatedly said Buffett had no knowledge of the murders before police contacted her.
Arrested Nov. 20, Buffett pleaded not guilty in court on Dec. 3.
Buffett 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, an actress who grew up in Seal Beach, worked as a princess at Medieval Times and played several characters at Disneyland, including Princess Ariel and Alice from Alice in Wonderland.