>> The court will call the matter of People versus Samuel Lincoln Woodward.>> 20-year-old Samuel Woodward of Newport Beach, California made his first court appearance on Wednesday. He's accused of murdering his former high school classmate Blaze Bernstein who was a student at the University of Pennsylvania. Bernstein was home in Orange County for the holidays when we went missing.
>> And agree that your arraignment may be continued until February 2nd, 2018?>> Yes, Your Honor.>> Woodward's parents were in court for the proceeding, a priest by their side. A defense attorney says the deeply religious couple is in shock and trying to make sense of how their Eagle Scout son is now an accused murderer.
Bernstein's parents stayed away from the courtroom. Their 19-year-old son's body was found last week in a park in Foothill Ranch. Police say he had been stabbed at least 20 times. According to prosecutors, Woodward picked up Bernstein from his parents’ house after the two had an interaction on Snapchat.
>> First of all, understand, we're open to all of the evidence, and we're still looking at all the evidence. And we have a substantial amount of work to do on that, and it's gonna take a little bit of time.>> Police have not released a motive, but Bernstein's parents say their son could've been the victim of a hate crime.
In an email to the Los Angeles Times, they say their son was part of the LGBTQ community. If convicted, Woodward could face 26 years to life in prison. He'll remain in jail without bail until his next court hearing in two weeks.