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Trial set to begin for accused killer of Samantha Woll

Prosecutors have added a first-degree murder charge against 28-year-old Michael Jackson-Bolanos.

JCRC/AJC board member Samantha Woll lighting candles in March 2018. Credit: Courtesy of JCRC/AJC.
JCRC/AJC board member Samantha Woll lighting candles in March 2018. Credit: Courtesy of JCRC/AJC.

A Detroit man alleged to have stabbed to death a well-known Jewish community leader in Michigan on Oct. 21 will soon face a judge and jury.

The prosecution begins on June 10 against Michael Jackson-Bolanos, 28, who is charged with the first-degree murder of 40-year-old Samantha Woll, first-degree home invasion and lying to the police.

From the beginning of the investigation, law enforcement has asserted that the crimes against Woll did not involve antisemitism. Woll served as president of the board of directors for Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue in Detroit.

Evidence presented at a preliminary hearing in January included multiple security videos that prosecutors say link Jackson-Bolanos to the crimes. The defense disputes that the footage depicts their client.

A North Face jacket with blood stains that was discovered in the suspect’s apartment provided another vital clue for investigators. Forensic analysts determined the blood belonged to Woll, and prosecutors claim that the jacket appears on the security video. 

Jackson-Bolanos denies all charges against him. He could receive a life sentence if convicted.

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