There are more delays in trying the 5-year old double murder case against Daniel Wozniak.
A judge ruled this week that the District Attorney’s office of Orange County could continue prosecuting the double-murder case of Daniel Wozniak. In his ruling, the judge rejected assertions by Mr. Wozniak’s defense attorney that there was misconduct on the prosecution side, which would have threatened Wozniak’s constitutional right to a fair trial. The judge made his ruling based on a lack of evidence regarding the alleged misconduct.
Wozniak, a former local theater actor in Costa Mesa, is the defendant in a double murder case that happened in 2010. Wozniak allegedly killed a man, Sam Herr, in order to steal $50,000 from him to finance his wedding and honeymoon. Wozniak then allegedly lured Julie Kibuishi to the murder scene, killing her and staging her murder to look like Herr had sexually assaulted her.
Wozniak’s lawyer has accused the DA’s office of inappropriate use of paid jail informants to get confessions from defendants. This misconduct, he says, has been going on for around three decades. Thus, he argued, Wozniak’s right to a fair trial was negatively impacted.
The deputy DA responded to these allegations by saying, “We have not made a mistake in this case…. Daniel Wozniak has been treated fairly, and he will be treated fairly moving forward.”
Wozniak’s defense attorney has also requested the court to take the death penalty off the table. The judge is yet to make a ruling on this issue. An appeals court has also denied an earlier request by Wozniak’s attorney to assign a new judge to the case. In January this year, James A. Stotler, who was the trying judge on the Wozniak case recused himself, further delaying the now 5-year old case.
Amidst all these delays, the relatives of the victims continue to be distraught and are calling for an end to the trial.