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University of Pennsylvania attack: California man guilty of stabbing gay student in 2018

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Samuel Woodward, 26, was found guilty of first-degree murder with a hate crime enhancement in a stabbing death of a Gay student of University of Pennsylvania on Wednesday.
During winter break, Bernstein, a 19-year-old sophomore, was spending time with his family in Southern California when he vanished. One week later, his body was discovered in a shallow grave at Borrego Park in Lake Forest, reported ABC News.
Prosecutor Jennifer Walker in the closing argument emphasized Woodward’s affiliation with a violent, anti-gay, neo-Nazi extremist group known as Atomwaffen Division (Orange County District Attorney’s Office).She said that Woodward actively sought out the organization, which targeted gay men.
With reference to Woodward’s autism spectrum disorder and his confused sexual orientation as a result of his conservative upbringing, Woodward’s lawyer, Ken Morrison, argued for a reduced charge. Morrison, arguing that the judge withheld important evidence, intends to file an appeal.
Authorities linked Woodward to Bernstein through communications on Snapchat and evidence found during the search of Woodward’s home, including a bloodied folding knife and hate group materials, as per Orange County district attorney’s office.
Woodward and Bernstein had graduated from the same high school and reconnected on a dating app. Woodward said that he killed Bernstein because he thought Bernstein had taken a picture of him . The prosecution presented evidence supporting Woodward’s violent intentions and hateful acts, leading to his conviction.
Orange County district attorney Todd Spitzer said, “Hate will never be tolerated here in Orange County. This conviction represents how our society will never put up with people who terrorize the most defenseless members of our community.





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