OC Supervisor Katrina Foley Releases Statement on Blaze Bernstein Murder Trial Verdict

ORANGE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA — Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley released a statement following the jury’s verdict on the trial surrounding the murder of Blaze Bernstein, a 19-year-old gay and Jewish Orange County resident killed in 2018. The jury found defendant Samuel Woodward guilty of first-degree hate-crime murder.

"On the heels of Pride Month, today’s jury verdict delivers long awaited justice for Blaze Bernstein’s family after six years of uncertainty. Rightfully, the jury saw overwhelming evidence to prove that hate motivated the killer, resulting in a murder verdict carrying the harshest penalties for this heinous crime,” said Supervisor Foley. “We send our love to the family in an effort to uplift them during this emotional time. The unfortunate reality remains that hate crimes continue to rise in Orange County against queer and trans people. According to the latest OC Hate Crimes Report, anti-LGBTQ hate activity increased by 126 percent. As a community, much work remains to ensure this tragedy does not happen again to any of our LGBTQ+ neighbors. My office remains committed to ensuring Orange County continues to be an inclusive and welcoming place for all.”


Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley was elected to the Board of Supervisors in 2022 to represent the newly established District 5, which includes the cities of Aliso Viejo, Costa Mesa, Dana Point, a large portion of Irvine, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Newport Beach, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, as well as the unincorporated areas of Coto de Caza, Emerald Bay, Ladera Ranch, Las Flores, Rancho Mission Viejo, Stonecliffe and Wagon Wheel. This is her second term on the Board of Supervisors, where she previously served District 2. 

Supervisor Foley’s Board appointments include the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA), Chair – OCFA Legislation & Public Affairs Committee, Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), Vice Chair – OCTA Legislative and Communications Committee, Los Angeles – San Diego – San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) Rail Corridor Agency, Transportation Corridor Agency (TCA), TCA Joint Capital Improvements and Projects Committee, Coastal Greenbelt Authority, Newport Bay and South Orange County Watershed Executive Committees, Ocean Institute, San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) Community Engagement Panel, Co-Chair – Spent Fuel Solutions Coalition, Chair – Orange County Housing Finance Trust, and the Orange County Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council.