A 20-year-old man who was arrested and charged with murdering his high school classmate, Blaze Bernstein, previously expressed violent viewpoints and defended the Confederate flag, according to a news report.
Samuel Lincoln Woodward of North Beach, California, was arrested on Jan. 12, three days after Bernstein’s body was found in a shallow grave at Borrego Park in the Orange County community of Lake Forest, about 50 miles southeast of Los Angeles.
Before Woodward was taken into custody, the 20-year-old made disturbing comments on social media that even scared an anonymous user, CBS Los Angeles reported.
On one site, Woodward defended the Confederate flag, saying it was a symbol or Southern pride and not hate.
On another site, he said that he would want “The Bible and a Colt .45” if he was stranded on a deserted island.
According to CBS Los Angeles, Woodward also said he would like to learn “waterboarding.”
When he was asked about his attitudes to human cloning, Woodward wrote, “Just one of me in the world is already bad enough.”
In response to some of Woodward’s comments an anonymous user said, “You are violence. It scares me.” To which he replied, “I wouldn’t fight anybody unless they attacked me.”
Bernstein, who was a student at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn), was staying at his family’s home during the winter break. His parents had reported him missing on Jan. 3, after he failed to return home the previous night.
Orange County Undersheriff Don Barnes told the Los Angeles Times that sheriffs had used Bernstein’s Snapchat account to determine that the young man had gone to the park with his high school classmate Woodward on the night of Jan. 2.
When questioned, Woodward insisted that Bernstein had walked off alone into the park. Sheriffs noticed that Woodward had dirt under his nails, abrasions on his hands, and appeared nervous. The 20-year-old explained that his dirty fingernails as a result of participating in a “fight club” where he fell in a “dirt puddle,” the Los Angeles Times reported.
One detective told Fox News that Woodward tried not to touch anything with his hands while being questioned.
Detectives were able to gather enough DNA evidence despite Woodward’s efforts. It was this evidence that led to Woodward’s arrest on Jan. 12.
In response to Woodward’s arrest, Berstein’s mother said, “Revenge is empty,” in a tweet on Jan. 12.
“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,” she said.
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
— Jeanne Pepper (@bernsteinmom) January 12, 2018
— ANDREA FUJII (@CBSLAandrea) January 11, 2018
NTD reporter Chris Jasurek contributed to this report.