Judge to rule if anti-gay killing suspect faces murder trial
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) — 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.
Orange County prosecutors will begin presenting evidence against Samuel Woodward on Tuesday to persuade a judge that he should face trial on murder and hate crime allegations.
Woodward has pleaded not guilty to fatally stabbing Blaze Bernstein in January after the two former high school peers met at night in a park.
Bernstein was missing for nearly a week before his body was found in a shallow grave.
Court documents say Woodward told police he became angry after Bernstein kissed him.
A lawyer for Woodward says he has a “serious mental disorder” and struggled with his own sexual identity.