Update: Neo-Nazi Fan and Prankster Accused of Stabbing Homosexual Student to Death to Stand Trial

Update 9/17/18, 6:21 P.M.

Neo Nazi’s Lawyer Steps Down as Court Date Pushed to November

Bail for Samuel Woodward, accused of stabbing 19-year-old Blaze Bernstein to death in January, has been set at $5 million, and Woodward needs a new lawyer.

Ed Munoz, who said last week that evidence would come out proving Woodward was sexually confused, stepped away from the job. The trial was pushed back to November, and in court Woodward requested a public defender.

Bernstein’s parents also spoke for the first time since their son’s death, after their son was laid to rest.

“We’re all God’s children and everyone should be loved alike regardless of what their sexual orientation is,” said Gideon Bernstein.

“[The community wants] so much to help us bring this boy back and we can’t. So how can we turn this into an opportunity that will be something beautiful”

“Even though my son can’t be brought back, there was a consequence,” said Jeanne Bernstein.

Original Story:

Samuel Lincoln Woodward, age 21, will be arraigned in court on Monday, according to court officials after being ordered to stand trial in Orange County Superior Court on murder and hate crime charges in the death of Blaze Bernstein. He could face life without parole if convicted.

Woodward allegedly stabbed 19-year-old Bernstein, a University of Pennsylvania pre-med student, nearly 20 times in the face and neck after the two met at a park in January, prosecutors said. During the initial hearing, prosecutors linked Woodward to the stabbing through DNA, and from a collection of homophobic and neo-Nazi material on his cellphone.

Woodward’s phone contained mention of his efforts to pose as “gay curious” to attract men and then reveal it as a prank. “That’s what they deserve,” he wrote using an anti-gay slur.

“We will prove that Woodward killed Blaze because Blaze was gay,” District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said, at a press conference in August.

According to investigator Chris Goldsmith, Woodward wrote on his phone to himself that he terrified gay men by sending them photos on the gay dating site Grindr of other gay men being killed. Two weeks before Bernstein was killed, Woodward wrote on Snapchat, next to an illustration of a bloody knife: “Texting is boring, but murder isn’t.”

A blood-stained knife was recovered, along with a blood stained watch and visor in Woodward’s car matched Bernstein. The chance of the genetic material coming from someone else was one in a trillion, forensic scientist Corrie Maggay testified.

Goldsmith testified that Woodward’s phone contained over 100 instances of content related to the violent hate group Atomwaffan, including their insignia as the phone’s wall paper. It also had pictures with Nazi references. Additionally, he chatted with hate group members about attending a Death Valley Hate Camp, mentioning weapons.

The two were high school classmates at the Orange County School of the Arts in Santa Ana, and they reconnected via social media. Bernstein had texted a photo of Woodward to a friend hoping to hook up with him.

“We have this bright young soul with the world at his fingertips and then all of a sudden, they’re gone,” the victim’s father, Gideon Bernstein, said.

“He was learning to love himself and I think he was thereIt just tears me up. He was ready. He was ready to just be himself and be proud,” the victim’s mother, Jeanne Bernstein, said.

Woodward picked Berstein up from his home, after speaking via Snapchat earlier in the evening. Bernstein kissed Woodward on the mouth in the car, and Woodward grew angry.

Woodward clenched his jaw and his fists, saying “he wanted to tell Blaze to get off of him.”

Bernstein was found seven days later in a shallow grave in Borrego Park in Lake Forest.

Woodward has pleaded not guilty, and his defense lawyer, Edward Munoz, said this was not a hate crime because the messages of hate were not shared with anyone, but kept private on the phone.

Munoz also argued that Woodward revealed he had autism and was socially awkward and sexually confused.

“There’s going to be some evidence that comes out that shows he’s very confused,” he said.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Latest News

Helping to Serve Those Most in Need

Originally Published by Kaiser Permanente Kaiser Permanente will provide more than $40 million in grants to community-based organizations in the coming months. Many of those grants will help ensure access to health care for those most in need. “We are a mission-based nonprofit that believes everyone has the right to…

Cashless Society Benefits Financial Crime Prevention but Raises Concerns with Inclusion and Data Privacy

Originally Published by EY Majority believe financial institutions should make greater investments in cybersecurity to protect financial data Cash is no longer king and will not be the preferred method of payment by 2030, according to an EY poll on digital and cash payments. The survey of financial services professionals indicates…

goodwill industries, settle, disability,

Goodwill Industries to Pay $65,000 to Settle Disability Discrimination Suit

Goodwill Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey, Inc. touts its hiring of people with disabilities, but recently settled a workplace discrimination lawsuit for $65,000. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) brought the lawsuit against Goodwill and announced Monday that the two groups had settled. According to…

ENGIE Chooses Accenture, Salesforce and Vlocity to Support its Customer Relations and Help Them Achieve Their Zero-Carbon Transition

Originally posted on With a global, unified industry-specific CRM, ENGIE is able to get a 360-degree customer view and help even more companies transition to zero-carbon energy SAN FRANCISCO, DREAMFORCE; Nov. 19, 2019 – Accenture (NYSE: ACN), Salesforce (NYSE: CRM) and Vlocity Inc. today announced the companies are teaming up with…

TIAA Holds SoPro Business Resource Group Summit

TIAA recently launched its 10th Business Resource Group (BRG): SoPro, for Seasoned Professionals of TIAA. The SoPro BRG’s mission is to maximize the impact of TIAA’s network of seasoned professionals by bridging generational differences and promoting cross-cultural collaboration by sharing knowledge and experiences. This includes future collaboration and partnership with…

Boeing Programs Receive Aviation Week Laureate Awards

Originally published on ecoDemonstrator and Ground-based Midcourse Defense programs recognized for achievements in aerospace wo Boeing [NYSE:BA] programs were honored today with Aviation Week Laureate Awards for extraordinary achievements in aerospace. Boeing’s ecoDemonstrator program was recognized in the Commercial Aviation Sustainability category. The ecoDemonstrator takes promising technologies out of the…