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Man accused of murdering classmate struggled with his own sexuality, says lawyer

Samuel Woodward was arrested on suspicion of murdering Blaze Bernstein back in January

2018-08-23

A man who is accused of murdering a former classmate struggled with his own sexuality, his lawyer says.

Blaze Bernstein, 19, went missing while visiting his parents’ home in California back in January and was found one week later in a shallow grave in a park with 19 stab wounds.

Samuel Woodward, 21, was arrested on suspicion of murder and told authorities that Bernstein had kissed him and he had pushed him away before they went to the park together.

Police combed through Woodward’s cellphone, laptop and social media and found hateful materials against a range of groups.

Blaze Bernstein

They determined that there was substantial evidence that the alleged white supremacist targeted Bernstein because he was gay as well as Jewish.

Now, Woodward’s lawyer, Edward Munoz, told Buzzfeed News that he has Asperger’s syndrome and says he was a “very confused” about his own sexuality.

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

A preliminary hearing was supposed to take place yesterday (August 22) but was postponed as evidence is still being reviewed by the defence.