ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. -- (KTLA) -- The man accused of fatally stabbing 19-year-old Blaze Bernstein allegedly killed the teen because he was gay, Orange County prosecutors said Thursday as they announced a "hate crime murder" sentencing enhancement against the defendant.
The enhancement was in an amended criminal complaint against the defendant, 21-year-old Samuel Woodward, who was a former classmate of Bernstein at the Orange County High School of the Arts in Santa Ana.
Additional analysis of Woodward’s laptop, cellphone and social media posts revealed images that authorities described as “graphic and chilling,” Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said.
The images were “racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic, misogynistic and anti-governmental," the DA said.
The evidence investigators uncovered “revealed the dark side of his thoughts and intentions,” Rackauckus told reporters during a news conference.
He added that the evidence proves the defendant was “substantially motivated because Blaze was gay."