Last month, on June 12th, proceedings on the trial of Samuel Woodward came to a halt. Woodward is the accused murderer of University of Pennsylvania student, Blaze Bernstein, who was found dead on January 10th in Borrego Park of Lake Forest, California. Bernstein had been stabbed over 20 times and had been missing for over a week at the time that his body was found.
The preliminary hearing for the trial was supposed to take place on June 14th, however, it was reported that the trial was postponed after Woodward’s defense team requested more time to prepare for the case. The delay is the second time that the preliminary hearing has been postponed. The original pre-trial was scheduled to take place on March 2nd, but attorneys requested more time to review evidence that month, which was granted. It was then that the hearing was given the June 14th date.
Woodward’s bail was set at $5 million in February, when he pleaded “not guilty” in the case. He claims to have went into a rage after Bernstein attempted to kiss him. Bernstein was both Jewish and gay, leading many to speculate that his murder is actually a hate crime. During the investigation, Woodward was reportedly linked to the Antomwaffen Division; a Neo-Nazi group. The group allegedly celebrated Woodward after finding out about Bernstein’s murder.
Investigators have found that after the killing, Woodward attempted to evade surveillance and changed his appearance by dying his hair. He was reportedly extremely nervous when speaking with authorities about the murder. Woodward initially claimed that he had dropped Bernstein off at the park and never seen him again, but the facts surrounding his alibi were proven false.
Woodward’s new preliminary hearing date is set for August 22nd, however, with California’s sluggish criminal justice system, another delay would not be unusual.
Check back later for more updates on the Samuel Woodward trial.