FBI Agent Testifies Cellphone Records, Videos Place Defendant In Area Around Suspected Time of Samantha Wolls' Murder

June 25, 2024, 3:51 PM by  Allan Lengel

Michael Jackson-Bolanos Tuesday in court.

An FBI agent testified Tuesday in Wayne County Circuit Court that defendant Michael Jackson-Bolanos's cell phone records and security videos show him in the area around the time authorities theorize that Samantha Woll, president of a downtown synagogue, was murdered.

FBI Special Agent Bryan Toltzis testified, relying on GPS data from  Jackson-Bolanos’s cell phone from midnight through 7 a.m., last Oct. 21, the Detroit News reports.  Authorities say she was stabbed in the upper body eight times inside her townhouse in the Lafayette Park neighborhood, just east of I-75, and found around 6:30 a.m. outside.

Prosecutors believe that the murder happened around 4:20 a.m. when a security sensor in her home detected motion. 

Jackson-Bolanos’s phone was in the “immediate area of the crime scene,” Toltzis testified, according to the News.

The prosecution has stated that a couple blood spots, belonging to Woll, were found on Jackson-Bolanos's coat he was wearing that evening and a backpack. After his arrest, his girlfriend, who spoke to him on recorded line by phone while he was in the Wayne County Jail, told him she had washed the coat. But authorites said they were still able to find traces of Woll's blood. 

The prosecution has suggested the motive in the murder was robbery. 

Jackson-Balanos' attorney Brian Brown has aruged that while his client may have been seen trying to burglarize cars, he had nothing to do with the murder.

In his opening statements, he said his client told police after being arrested that he stumbled upon the body after the murder, and then fled. The prosecution objected and the judge told the jury to strike that statement and not consider it.

Brown then continued with a contradictive theory; he said video showed his client in Greektown at 4:23 a.m., across the freeway, just minutes after authorities theorize that Woll was murdered. Thus, he argued that his client couldn't have been near the scene of the crime. 

That being said, the jury will have to figure out which is correct, and if Jackson-Bolanos was in Greektown at the time of the murder, how Woll's blood got on his coat and backpack.

Brown asked in opening statements if the motive was robbery, why wasn't anything apparently stolen from the house?

The jury will utlimately have to unanimously decide if the prosecution proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt, or whether the defense raised enough doubt.

Trial resumes Wednesday with testimony from a member of the Detroit Police Department reviewing video of the defenant's movements in the early morning of the murder. 


Read more:  Detroit News

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