Orange County News

Convicted OC murderer's former fiancée in court

Friday, November 30, 2012

A first court appearance Friday for the Orange County woman accused of being an accessory after the fact to a pair of murders, including one in which the body was dismembered.

Daniel Wozniak and Rachel Buffett acted together on stage as part of a theater company called Hunger Artists. If prosecutors are correct, the couple also acted together to hide a grisly murder.

Rachel Buffett made her first appearance Friday in an Orange County courtroom. She's charged with three counts of being an accessory after the fact. Prosecutors say she lied to investigators to protect Wozniak, who was her fiancé.

Wozniak is accused of killing two of his friends back in May 2010: Samuel Herr, 26, and Julie Kibuishi, 23. Investigators say Wozniak lured Herr to a theater on the Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base, shot him twice, then dismembered his body and dumped Herr's body parts in a park. Wozniak then allegedly killed Kibuishi, staging that murder to look as if Herr did it.

Steve Herr says he attends every court hearing concerning his son's death and is convinced Rachel Buffett is guilty of trying to derail the investigation into Wozniak's role in the killings. Samuel was his only child - an Iraq war veteran.

Steve Herr has just one goal in his sights these days: "Death penalty for Wozniak and anybody else involved with the murder that either planned or carried this out."

But Buffett's family says they were blindsided by the arrest, that more than two years after the case broke, they can't understand why officials charged Rachel now.

"She's been completely compliant and as helpful as she possibly could ever since then," said Nathan Buffett, Rachel's sister.

Buffett's family says Rachel had no idea her fiancé may have been involved in the deaths of Herr and Kibuishi. She's been in custody for the past 10 days. She was arrested at a shopping mall two days before Thanksgiving.

"When it comes to Rachel, she was more in the dark than anybody," said Nathan. "And that's why she was so helpful."

Buffett's arraignment was continued until Monday. If convicted, she's facing up to three years in prison. Wozniak is facing the death penalty.

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murder, arrest, orange county news, rob hayes
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