News, Culture & Society

Friend of murdered student defended Confederate Flag

Samuel Lincoln Woodward, 20, has been arrested in connection with the death of Blaze Bernstein. Police say DNA links Woodward to the case 

The man accused of killing a 19-year-old Ivy league student from California defended the Confederate flag and expressed concerning thoughts via social media, The New York Post reported on Saturday.

Samuel Lincoln Woodward, 20, who was  accused of slaying University of Pennsylvania pre-med student Blaze Bernstein by Orange County officials on Friday, wrote in one post that the infamous rebel flag ‘represents Southern pride, not racism.’  

On another social media platform called askfm, Woodward said if he could have two items while being stranded on a deserted island, it would be ‘The Bible and a Colt .45’  

At one point, Woodward picks ‘Waterboarding’ as a new skill he wants to learn.  

In another message, someone states to Woodward that ‘You are violence. It scares me.’

Samuel Lincoln Woodward, 20 wrote in one post that the infamous rebel flag 'represents Southern pride, not racism' (Pictured: Woodward's image placed in front of Confederate Flag)

Samuel Lincoln Woodward, 20 wrote in one post that the infamous rebel flag ‘represents Southern pride, not racism’ (Pictured: Woodward’s image placed in front of Confederate Flag)

In another message, someone states to Woodward that 'You are violence. It scares me,' to which he replies 'I wouldn't fight anybody unless they attacked me'

In another message, someone states to Woodward that ‘You are violence. It scares me,’ to which he replies ‘I wouldn’t fight anybody unless they attacked me’

The Newport Beach man admits in his reply: ‘I wouldn’t fight anybody unless they attacked me.’

On Friday, Undersheriff Don Barnes said that Orange County police collected DNA evidence which links Woodward to the crime. Details of Bernstein’s death aren’t being released. 

At one point, Woodward picks 'Waterboarding' as a new skill he wants to learn (Pictured: Parents of Blaze Bernstein, Gideon and Jeanne) 

At one point, Woodward picks ‘Waterboarding’ as a new skill he wants to learn (Pictured: Parents of Blaze Bernstein, Gideon and Jeanne) 

Barnes says investigators are still trying to determine a motive. Woodward was the last person to see Blaze Bernstein alive, Barnes says. 

Authorities say the suspect previously told them he had left Bernstein at the park to go see his girlfriend, the San Jose Mercury News reports.

Woodward could remember neither the name nor address of his ‘girlfriend’, police said.  

Woodward also had scratches on his hands, which police say he told them he had sustained while participating in a fight club.

Woodward also had dirt under his fingernails, which he told authorities was due to falling into a ‘dirty puddle’ while sparring. 

 

Woodward, in a previous interview with police, said he had sustained scratches while participating in a fight club

Woodward, in a previous interview with police, said he had sustained scratches while participating in a fight club

The body of Bernstein (pictured), a 19-year-old sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania, was found on Tuesday at Borrego Ranch Park in Southern California. Bernstein was home for winter break when he went missing on January 2

The body of Bernstein (pictured), a 19-year-old sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania, was found on Tuesday at Borrego Ranch Park in Southern California. Bernstein was home for winter break when he went missing on January 2

Bernstein was visiting his family in Foothill Ranch during winter break from the Ivy League school when his high school friend Woodward picked him up on January 2 and drove with him to several places before winding up at Borrego Park in Lake Forest, 6ABC reports.

Bernstein’s body was found in brush at the park on Tuesday after recent rains partially exposed it.

Woodward has asked for an attorney, authorities say. 

During a meeting with authorities earlier this week, police say Woodward put his jacket over his hand so that his bare skin would not touch any part of the doors he opened and closed on his way out of the police station.

Authorities had previously said said they were investigating the death as a homicide.

Orange County Undersheriff Don Barnes, left, takes a questions as District Attorney Tony Rackauckas looks on during a news conference about the death

Orange County Undersheriff Don Barnes, left, takes a questions as District Attorney Tony Rackauckas looks on during a news conference about the death

Gideon and Jeanne Bernstein speak on January 10 during a news conference

Gideon and Jeanne Bernstein speak on January 10 during a news conference

Jeanne Bernstein tweeted about the news that an individual had been arrested in connection with her son's murder

Jeanne Bernstein tweeted about the news that an individual had been arrested in connection with her son’s murder

‘Nothing will bring back my son so we ask the world to please honor Blaze’s memory by doing an act of kindness today – don’t wait – do it now. Celebrate the goodness that still exists in this world in-spite of these acts of senseless evil. People are good and Blaze knew that,’ Bernstein’s mother Jeanne told the Los Angeles Times. 

She tweeted, when hearing the news: ‘Finally. My thoughts are: Revenge is empty. It will never bring back my son. 

‘My only hopes are that he will never have the opportunity to hurt anyone else again and that something meaningful can come from the senseless act of Blaze’s murder. 

‘Now Do Good for Blaze Bernstein.’ 

Pictured is the park in which Bernstein was found. The Ivy League student was planning to major in psychology and later study medicine, his father said

Pictured is the park in which Bernstein was found. The Ivy League student was planning to major in psychology and later study medicine, his father said

Pictured is another view of the park. His father had said his son had a passion for cooking and was a creative writer

Pictured is another view of the park. His father had said his son had a passion for cooking and was a creative writer

Woodward and Bernstein had attended the Orange County School of the Arts together. 

When he was arrested, Woodward was wearing a shirt that read: ‘Keep the peace.’ 

A woman who lived at the house where Woodward lived would not comment on the matter to the Los Angeles Times.  

Bernstein, a sophomore, was planning to major in psychology and later study medicine, the Orange County Register reported his father, Gideon Bernstein, saying last week.

His dad said that he had a passion for cooking and was a creative writer. He had recently been named to the staff of Penn Appetit magazine at school.

A friend at school told WPVI that she had been communicating with Bernstein over break over ideas for the magazine for the next semester. 



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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