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O.C. Man Pleads Not Guilty in Slaying of Ex-Classmate Blaze Bernstein

Samuel Woodward, who has been charged with murder in the death of Blaze Bernstein, is seen during a court appearance on Jan. 17, 2018. (Credit: KTLA)

Samuel Woodward, who has been charged with murder in the death of Blaze Bernstein, is seen during a court appearance on Jan. 17, 2018. (Credit: KTLA)

An Orange County man has pleaded not guilty to charges he murdered a gay University of Pennsylvania student in a hate crime.

Samuel Woodward entered the plea Friday during a hearing in Santa Ana, California.

The 21-year-old suspect is now being held without bail.

Woodward is charged in the January stabbing death of college sophomore Blaze Bernstein.

Bernstein went missing after going out with Woodward to a park in Lake Forest. His body was later found in a shallow grave in the park.

Prosecutors have said DNA evidence links Woodward to the crime and his cellphone contained troves of anti-gay, anti-Semitic and white hate group materials.