BREAKING: Body Found in Montecito Area Where Authorities Were Searching for Missing L.A. County Firefighter

Preliminary Hearing Set for June in Stabbing Death of Blaze Bernstein

A hearing was set for June in the murder case against Samuel Woodward, the Newport Beach man accused in the stabbing death of 19-year-old Blaze Bernstein, to determine whether prosecutors have enough evidence to move to trial.

Samuel Woodward speaks to his attorney, Edward Munoz, during his February arraignment.  (Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Samuel Woodward speaks to his attorney, Edward Munoz, during his February arraignment.
(Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Woodward, 20, appeared in an orange jail jumpsuit in a Harbor Justice Center courtroom Friday and spoke briefly with his attorney before agreeing to set his preliminary hearing for June 14.

The hearing is expected to last half a day, attorneys told Orange County Superior Court Judge Gregory Jones.

Woodward pleaded not guilty last month to a murder charge and denied a sentencing enhancement allegation of personally using a deadly weapon, according to court records. Because Bernstein was gay and Jewish, authorities are investigating the possibility of also charging Woodward with a hate crime.

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