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Prosecutors detail evidence that led to arrest of suspect in Samantha Woll's murder

Posted at 4:24 PM, Dec 14, 2023

DETROIT, Mich. (WXYZ) — The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office says they have an overwhelming amount of evidence that points to Michael Jackson-Bolanos being the person who killed Detroit synagogue leader Samantha Woll.

They added that he has a lengthy criminal record that includes receiving stolen property.

Jackson-Bolanos was charged with felony murder, home invasion, and lying to a police officer.

Man charged in murder of Samantha Woll

On Wednesday, he appeared in court for the first time since he was arrested for the murder of Woll. She was found stabbed to death outside of her Lafayette Park home back in October.

“The evidence that has been amassed in this case has been quite frankly astonishing,” said Assistant Prosecutor Ryan Elsey. “Astonishing in its scale and astonishing in the horrific clarity that it brings to us to show what the last moments of Samantha Woll’s life were like.”

Here's some of the evidence Elsey says they have in this case.

“We have a mass of videos extracted from dozens and dozens of locations," said Elsey. "We got a mass of cellular data, phone extractions, DNA evidence, digital trails left behind by Ms. Woll’s security system."

According to Elsey, the evidence shows Jackson-Bolanos stabbed Woll during a home invasion.

“He was creeping around her neighborhood in the middle of the night stealing things out of cars and she unfortunately left her front door open that night,” Elsey added.

Elsey says the police also found Woll’s blood on Jackson-Bolanos’ jacket that was left at his girlfriend’s house.

“On a jacket that appears to be consistent with the very same jacket he was wearing the night when she was killed,” said Elsey.

Jackson-Bolanos’ lawyer says that the evidence against his client is circumstantial.

“I believe there could be a very reasonable explanation as to some of the evidence that has been mentioned by Mr. Elsey which doesn’t necessarily indicate that my client has committed this particular crime,” said Brian Brown, defense attorney.

On Wednesday, a judge denied bond for Jackson-Bolanos in light of all the evidence.

 “It’s hard to imagine someone more dangerous than someone who’s capable of killing an innocent woman, a stranger inside of her own home in the middle of the night.”