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The murder trial of Detroit synagogue leader Samantha Woll resumes Monday

The murder trial of Detroit synagogue leader Samantha Woll resumes Monday

The murder trial of Detroit synagogue leader Samantha Woll resumes Monday

DETROIT (WXYZ) — The trial for the slaying of Detroit synagogue leader Samantha Woll resumes Monday morning.

Watch the TRIAL LIVE HERE

There was powerful testimony in a downtown Detroit courtroom last week as key evidence experts and the victim’s best friend took the stand.

Woll was stabbed to death outside her Lafayette Park home in October 2023. Michael Jackson Bolanos was charged with her murder.

Testimony last Thursday included Sherri Berger, a friend of Woll’s, who testified that she did not fear for her own safety before her death, despite a recent breakup with her boyfriend. Berger testified that Woll was feeling optimistic about both her personal and professional life.

Investigators also talked about how the crime scene was processed and how gruesome it was.

“There was so much blood that we had to take scale photos that could show the scale,” FBI Special Agent Eli Bowers testified.

The FBI and Michigan State Police assisted Detroit police in gathering evidence.

“We noticed footprints that were barefoot, not necessarily a shoe or anything like that,” testified MSP forensics expert Guy Nutter. “There was blood in the entryway, the hall, the living room and the lower floors.”

Defense attorneys suggested that the crime scene was not properly processed and that the prosecution did not prove that Bolanos was responsible for the murder.

Thursday’s testimony also included a medical examiner testifying about the multiple stab wounds that led to Woll’s death, including some to her scalp. It also featured a state police lieutenant telling the court that fingerprints and palms taken at the scene did not support a match with Bolanos.

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It was an emotional day in court on Wednesday, with video evidence and images presented showing just how horrific Samantha Woll’s killing was.

Woll, a Detroit synagogue leader, was found stabbed to death outside her Lafayette Park home in October 2023.

BREAKING STORY: Detroit Synagogue President Found Dead Outside Home; police to provide update on Sunday

Detroit Synagogue President Found Dead Outside Home; police to provide update on Sunday

Michael Jackson-Bolanos is charged with Woll’s murder.

The prosecution’s first witness was Kevin Mull, who lived across the street from Woll and was the one who found her dead outside her home on the morning of October 21, 2023.

VIDEO: Prosecutors give opening statement in Samantha Woll murder trial

Prosecutors give opening statement in Samantha Woll murder trial

Mull confessed, “The skin was blue, the legs were blue, I touched that part of the body to get some kind of reaction and immediately I realized how cold the body was.”

Mull’s wife, Jessica Robinson, was the second witness. She called 911.

The prosecution played the audio recording of that phone call.

At one point Robinson said: “My husband was just walking our dog and he told me there was a person on the sidewalk, possibly a body.”

The third, fourth and fifth witnesses were the two Detroit police officers who were dispatched when Woll’s body was found and a forensic technician who worked at the scene.

Their testimony brought chilling evidence.

The prosecution played body camera video from that morning showing how Woll was found … dead, in the fetal position, drenched in blood. Some of Woll’s family left the courtroom for it.

One of the witnesses, former Detroit police officer Preston Kue, testified that beyond Woll’s body, her front door was open and much of the interior of her home was covered in blood.

During the testimony of Detroit forensic technician Carrington Sheridan, the prosecution showed images of Woll’s front hall and living room. The living room was shown in disarray, with food strewn about, an overturned laptop with blood on it, a vape pen and contact lenses found on the floor next to pillows.

“There appeared to be items around the couch that were consistent with a possible struggle,” Sheridan testified.

The defense during cross-examination apparently worked to paint a picture of sloppy police work.

VIDEO: Defense gives opening statement in Samantha Woll murder trial

Defense gives opening statement in Samantha Woll murder trial

Defense attorney Brian Brown asked sixth witness Sgt. Daron Zhou why the police working the crime scene removed items from Woll’s purse and photographed them next to the evidence at the scene.

“Does it make sense for you to remove items from a bench in the entryway and move them out and place them in another location in the house next to the items that were already there?” Brown asked.

“No,” Zhou replied.