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Santa Ana, CA - Parents Of Killed Jewish College Student Speak Out

Published on: January 18, 2018 11:29 AM
By: AP
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Santa Ana, CA - The parents of a University of Pennsylvania student found stabbed and buried in a California park said Thursday they’re not focused on potential motives for the killing.

A former high school classmate was charged Wednesday with murder in the death of 19-year-old Blaze Bernstein. Samuel Woodward, 20, killed Bernstein with a knife, prosecutors said, while the college sophomore was visiting his family on winter break.

Speaking on NBC’s “Today” show, Gideon Bernstein and Jeanne Pepper Bernstein would not elaborate on previous comments they made that the killing may have been a hate crime.

“If we talk about these things now then this young man will not get a fair trial. And I want that. I want that for all of us. I want the legal system to work,” Jeanne Pepper Bernstein said.

District Attorney Tony Rackauckus said prosecutors were still trying to determine a motive for the killing and looking into whether it was a hate crime.

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According to a court filing obtained by the Orange County Register, Woodward told investigators that he became angry after Bernstein kissed him the night they went to the park.

Authorities said Woodward picked up Bernstein at his parents’ home around 11 p.m. on Jan. 2 after they communicated on Snapchat and took him to a neighborhood park. His body was found in a shallow grave there a week later.

Desperate to find him, his parents learned their son had left the house by “hacking into his computer and getting into his social media account,” Jeanne Pepper Bernstein told the Los Angeles Times Wednesday.

“Most people our age don’t understand how much our children are using social media for communicating,” Gideon Bernstein said.

Woodward appeared in court in an orange jail jumpsuit but did not enter a plea. He was ordered held without bail until his arraignment on Feb. 2.

If convicted of murder and an allegation he used a deadly weapon, Woodward could face as much as 26 years to life in prison.

“There is still much discovery to be done and if it is determined that this was a hate crime, we will cry not only for our son, but for LGBTQ people everywhere that live in fear or who have been victims of hate crime,” Bernstein’s family said in a statement earlier this week.

Woodward’s parents held hands at Wednesday’s hearing and sat with a Catholic priest who is a long-time friend of the family. Other church members also attended the brief hearing.

“This is a tragedy,” defense attorney Edward Munoz said later to reporters. He said his heart goes out to Bernstein family and that the Woodward family is in shock.

“This young man I’m representing was an Eagle Scout and now he’s facing murder,” Munoz said.



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Read Comments (10)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jan 18, 2018 at 12:14 PM Secular Says:

Media manipulation.

This wasn’t a hate crime, don’t afford them the much sought after victim status.

This was a crime of passion - heinous as it was.

2

 Jan 18, 2018 at 12:47 PM Just sad Says:

We live in sedom
After reading this article , I think the parents need to do some soul searching about how they raised this child

3

 Jan 18, 2018 at 01:02 PM FactsofLife Says:

It's unfortunate but he was noheig the toeivos of the miskov zochorniks and was killed for it.

4

 Jan 18, 2018 at 02:17 PM all types Says:

There are different types of people in all communities including frum communities.
I do not think the parents are a cause. In some ways better that it be open and known rather than someone do terrible things in secret to young innocent victims.
I do not know the halacho but it is not the business of the killer to kill him.

5

 Jan 18, 2018 at 02:17 PM VoiceOfSanity Says:

Reply to #3  
FactsofLife Says:

It's unfortunate but he was noheig the toeivos of the miskov zochorniks and was killed for it.

It's unfortunate that you're such a moron. There are many frum Mishkav Zochorniks that don't end up dead. Without a Sanhedrin how about you leave the Dinei Nefashos to G-d. And in the meantime keep your mouth shut.

6

 Jan 18, 2018 at 03:52 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
Just sad Says:

We live in sedom
After reading this article , I think the parents need to do some soul searching about how they raised this child

Yitzcack raised Esav.

7

 Jan 18, 2018 at 04:24 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

Yitzcack raised Esav.

Typical misogynist internet commenter, believing mothers don't matter, even Rivka, one of our heilige imahos.

8

 Jan 18, 2018 at 04:35 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
Just sad Says:

We live in sedom
After reading this article , I think the parents need to do some soul searching about how they raised this child

You think the son is gay because of his parents?!
That's a pretty idiotic statement.

9

 Jan 18, 2018 at 09:04 PM Aron1 Says:

Reply to #7  
Anonymous Says:

Typical misogynist internet commenter, believing mothers don't matter, even Rivka, one of our heilige imahos.

Typical chip-on-their-shoulder jump-to-conclusion feminist internet commenter.

10

 Jan 19, 2018 at 01:19 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #9  
Aron1 Says:

Typical chip-on-their-shoulder jump-to-conclusion feminist internet commenter.

Typical online commenter that can't take a joke.

11

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