cloudy
Tuesday September 25th, 2018 7:12AM

Judge to rule if anti-gay killing suspect faces murder trial

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) — The hatred that inspired a California man to kill a gay University of Pennsylvania student is spelled out on the suspect's cellphone, laptop and social media, prosecutors said.

Samuel Woodward left a trail of clues that showed hatred toward "basically every protected group," but he was primarily driven to stab Blaze Bernstein to death because the victim was gay, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said.

Prosecutors will begin presenting some of that evidence in court Tuesday in Orange County Superior Court to persuade a judge that Woodward should be tried for murder.

Woodward, 21, has previously pleaded not guilty to the charge and an allegation that it was a hate crime that would allow prosecutors to seek a sentence of up to life in prison without parole.

Bernstein, 19, vanished in January after he and Woodward, former high school classmates, met at night in Borrego Park in Foothill Ranch, about 40 miles (65 kilometers) southeast of Los Angeles.

Bernstein, a sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania, was home in Lake Forest visiting his parents during winter break.

He was missing for nearly a week before his body was found in a shallow grave in the park. He had been stabbed more than 20 times.

Woodward told police he became angry after Bernstein kissed him that night, according to court documents.

Defense lawyer Edward Munoz said Woodward has a "serious mental disorder" and struggled with his own sexual identity.

Woodward was arrested after DNA found in the park and his car linked him to the slaying, according to authorities.

Rackauckas declined to specify what materials were found in Woodward's phone, computer and social media accounts, but that they were racist, anti-Semitic, misogynistic and homophobic.

"All of this revealed the dark side of Woodward's thoughts and intentions," he said.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines
© Copyright 2018 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Judge to rule if anti-gay killing suspect faces murder trial
Prosecutors say the hatred that inspired a California man to kill a gay University of Pennsylvania student is spelled out on the suspect's cellphone, laptop and social media
11:52AM ( 32 minutes ago )
Over 300 people evacuated from flooded Kansas college town
Authorities say heavy rain has forced more than 300 people to evacuate their homes in the flooded Kansas college town of Manhattan
11:08AM ( 1 hour ago )
Massachusetts' House delegation faces spirited challenges
Several members of the all-Democratic U.S. House delegation in Massachusetts face spirited challenges in Tuesday's primary election
10:28AM ( 1 hour ago )
U.S. News
Tech and health stocks slip; Amazon hits $1 trillion
US stocks are lower as technology and health care companies decline
12:17PM ( 6 minutes ago )
Strong typhoon slams western Japan; 8 dead, airport flooded
A powerful typhoon has slammed into western Japan, flooding the region's main international airport, disrupting land travel and leaving at least eight people dead
12:09PM ( 15 minutes ago )
The Latest: Leahy: Kavanaugh view on exec power very broad
Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont says that Brett Kavanaugh "may have intrigued" President Donald Trump because of his expansive view of "executive power and executive immunity."
11:58AM ( 26 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: Trump weighs in on NBC-Ronan Farrow dispute
The Latest: President Donald Trump is joining criticism of NBC News for passing last year on journalist Ronan Farrow's investigation into alleged sexual misconduct by Harvey Weinstein
11:30AM ( 54 minutes ago )
Kerry Perry quits as president of scandal-hit USA Gymnastics
Kerry Perry quits as president of scandal-hit USA Gymnastics, which loses faith in her leadership
11:04AM ( 1 hour ago )
Election security bill backers say delay helps Russia
Bipartisan legislation to try to prevent foreign hacking into U.S. election systems stalls in Congress
10:14AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP National News
Sensors on new California bridge to record earthquake data
A replacement bridge under construction at the nation's second-busiest port isn't just a crucial route for cargo trucks and Southern California commuters _ it's a concrete-and-steel science experiment for engineers and seismologists
2:01AM ( 10 hours ago )
Tropical Storm Gordon brings hurricane warning to Gulf Coast
Tropical Storm Gordon lashed South Florida with heavy rains and high winds on Monday and is expected to strengthen into a hurricane when it hits the central U.S. Gulf Coast
11:10PM ( 13 hours ago )
NBC's news chairman defends handling of Weinstein story
NBC's news chairman has sent an exhaustive defense of the network's handling of Ronan Farrow's investigation of Harvey Weinstein to his staff members
10:45PM ( 13 hours ago )
Top U.S. News short headlines
Over 300 people evacuated from flooded Kansas college town
Authorities say heavy rain has forced more than 300 people to evacuate their homes in the flooded Kansas college town of Manhattan
11:08AM ( 1 hour ago )
Massachusetts' House delegation faces spirited challenges
Several members of the all-Democratic U.S. House delegation in Massachusetts face spirited challenges in Tuesday's primary election
10:28AM ( 1 hour ago )
Gordon, moving fast, aims to hit Gulf Coast as hurricane
Tropical Storm Gordon is continuing to strengthen and is expected to become a hurricane late Tuesday when it hits the central U.S. Gulf Coast, including coastal Mississippi
10:26AM ( 1 hour ago )
New California bridge gets sensors to gather earthquake data
A replacement bridge under construction at the nation's second-busiest port isn't just a crucial route for cargo trucks and Southern California commuters _ it's a concrete-and-steel science experiment for engineers and seismologists
9:32AM ( 2 hours ago )
New California bridge getting sensors to measure earthquakes
A replacement bridge under construction at the nation's second-busiest port isn't just a crucial route for cargo trucks and Southern California commuters _ it's a concrete-and-steel science experiment for engineers and seismologists
9:27AM ( 2 hours ago )