Friday, August 24, 2018


Suspect with Asperger's accused of killing a gay Jewish teenager 'who tried to kiss him' struggled with his own sexuality and had links to Nazis because his blond hair and blue eyes 'allowed him access to certain clubs', says his lawyer

By Leah Simpson

Daily Mail
August 23, 2018

The lawyer of a California man who denies killing a gay Jewish teenager, says the suspect may have fallen in with an anti-gay and anti-Jewish crowd because he struggled with his own identity.

Samuel Woodward, 21, faces life in prison without parole if he's found guilty of hate crime in addition to the first-degree murder of 19-year-old Blaze Bernstein, but on the day of a court hearing Wednesday, Edward Munoz asked people to consider that he has a 'serious mental disorder'.

Speaking about autism spectrum disorder, Woodward's representative claimed that his association with a Nazi group that has been linked to five murders in a year, was due to living with Asperger syndrome among other things.

Those affected can have difficulty with social interactions but Munoz says his client had even less of a chance because of his appearance, telling Buzzfeed News: 'He is a blonde, blue-eyed young man. There’s only going to be certain clubs he’s going to be allowed into.'

Munoz didn't mention the neo-Nazi group, Atomwaffen Division, Woodward had previously been pictured with in Texas, a ProPublica reporter shared online in January.

Woodward used to dye his hair black but appeared with his natural hue showing as he appeared at the hearing, which ended up being postponed while the defense reviews evidence from the accused's mobile phone records.

Munoz added that the defendant, who told police that his former high school classmate, Woodward, tried to kiss him, 'has a lot of issues, I think, around sexual orientation'.

Materials on his social media and computer also pinpointed him as someone prosecutors found to be racist, misogynistic and anti-government.

The University of Pennsylvania sophomore's body was discovered buried in a shallow grave in Lake Forest park after being stabbed 20 times in January.

His parents, Jeanne and Gideon Bernstein, were not in court but have urged people to do acts of kindness to remember their son who is described as a 'brilliant writer and scientist'.

Newport Beach resident, Woodward previously faced 26 years to life in prison because under California law, prosecutors can only seek the death penalty when a victim is killed because of race, religion or nationality.

Since Bernstein's death, a state bill has been proposed to change that to include sexual orientation.

EDITOR’S NOTE: I think his lawyer is claiming mitigating circumstances in the killing of a Jew who is also homosexual because his client is blond and blue-eyed and belonged to neo-Nazi groups.

1 comment:

bob walsh said...

Under current CA law if you have any sort of semi-legit recognized mental disorder it can go a LONG WAY towards mitigating virtually any crime. CA is essentially going out of its way to attract and encourage criminals.