Samuel Woodward murdered former classmate and UPenn pre-med student Blaze Bernstein because he was gay, prosecutors said on Thursday, filing a hate crime enhancement to the first degree murder charges already filed against Woodward.
Said Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas: “This complaint is going to add a hate crime enhancement, accusing Woodward of intentionally committing first-degree murder, due in whole, or in part, due to Blaze’s sexual orientation. We will prove that Woodward killed Blaze because Blaze was gay.”
CBS News reports: ‘Rackauckas said prosecutors added the hate crime enhancement to the first-degree murder charge after going through Woodward’s social media and cellphone data, uncovering a large number of “graphic” and “chilling” texts and images that showed he intended to murder Bernstein and spewing hate towards “almost every protected group.” Rackauckas said the material, which was “homophobic, anti-Semitic, misogynistic and anti-government” showed Woodward’s “dark side.” He wouldn’t comment on what specifically investigators found.’
Watch a CBS News report: