Equality California released a statement regarding the murder of Blaze Bernstein, whom the organization said was a gay college student from the University of Pennsylvania whose death in Orange County is being investigated as a possible hate crime.
The organization's executive director, Rick Zbur, said, in part, "We expect a thorough investigation into the claims that this was a hate-crime motivated by 'gay-panic.' We are horrified by the details emerging that this senseless act of violence may have been motivated by homophobic sentiments, and if this is in fact the case, we hope this hate crime is prosecuted at the full-extent of the law. Blaze Bernstein and his family deserve justice."
Bernstein's remains were found in Borrego Park in Orange County; the student, 19, was visting his parents in Lake Forest, California, when he disappeared in early January.
NBC Los Angeles reported that criminal charges were slated to be filed against Samuel Lincoln Woodward, a 20-year-old man arrested in connection with Bernstein's death. Bernstein and Woodward were previously classmates at the Orange County School for the Arts.
The NBC article is at www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Criminal-Charges-to-Be-Filed-Against-Man-Arrested-in-Connection-With-UPenn-Students-Murder-469639603.html .