Jury deliberations begin in Samantha Woll murder trial

Posted at 6:07 PM, Jul 09, 2024

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Wednesday morning, jurors began deciding the fate of Michael Jackson-Bolanos, who is accused of entering Samantha Woll's Detroit home on Oct. 21, 2023, and stabbing her to death.

"This was an extremely quick killing and he got the heck out of there," Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Ryan Elsey said in his closing argument Tuesday.

He told the jury that Jackson-Bolanos is a liar and a killer who has tried to convince them that he's nothing more than a petty thief.

Watch the prosecution's closing argument in the video below:

Prosecution gives closing arguments in the Samantha Woll murder trial

Jackson-Bolanos, who is facing multiple charges including felony murder, second-degree murder, home invasion and lying to a police officer, claims that he was in the area stealing from unlocked vehicles and that he happened upon Woll's body near a sidewalk and claims he only touched her to see if she was alive.

That is how Jackson-Bolanos tried to explain a small amount of blood being on her jacket.

Prosecutors contend that there wasn't much blood on it when police took it from his closet because it had been six weeks since the killing and it had been washed.

Watch previous coverage from the last day of testimony in the video player below:

Defense rests in Samantha Woll murder trial; closing arguments set for Tuesday

Elsey played for jurors a recorded phone call Jackson-Bolanos made from jail to his girlfriend at the time, in which he said the jacket would not have any blood on it if it had been washed, but then his girlfriend said, "The jacket has been washed. It has and I have expressed that."

That's when Elsey said Jackson-Bolanos hung up the phone, hoping to get her to stop saying anything he didn't want police to know.

Defense attorney Brian Brown in his closing argument told jurors that the number of wounds Woll had should have left the killer covered in a lot of blood.

Watch the defense's closing argument in the video below:

Defense gives closing arguments in Samantha Woll murder trial

"This was a crime of passion," Brown told the jury. "This is not a robbery. They didn't come to rob her. They came to kill her."

Brown also criticized the investigation and suggested that Woll's ex-boyfriend was not properly investigated. The ex-boyfriend initially confessed to the murder but later blamed it on medication and being distraught.

Brown said prosecutors spend time trying to convince them that the ex-boyfriend could not have done the murder because his phone did not ping in the area.

VIDEO: Watch some of the testimony from Samantha Woll's ex-boyfriend:

Samantha Woll's ex-boyfriend testifies at murder trial

If Jackson-Bolanos, the admitted thief, did what prosecutors contend — see Woll's front door open and go inside to rob her but instead ended up stabbing her — Brown told jurors that he would have stolen her keys, wallet or laptop. But nothing was taken.

During his rebuttal, Elsey argued that once Woll was stabbed, Jackson-Bolanos would not have wanted to steal any items that would have linked him to her murder.

"He had every reason to get out of there quickly, which is what all the evidence suggests that he did," Elsey told the jury.

Late Tuesday afternoon, the judge read instructions to the jury. Deliberations will begin first thing Wednesday morning.