Neighbors who found Samantha Woll's body, responding officers first to testify in murder trial

The first day of testimony in the trial of Michael Jackson-Bolanos, who stands accused of murdering a well-known Jewish leader in metro Detroit, included several witnesses testifying in front of the jury.

The trial is scheduled to continue at 9:15 a.m. Thursday. Watch live above. 

Neighbors who found Samantha Woll's body and the first officers at the scene gave their account of what they discovered on the morning of Oct. 21, 2023.

"The skin was blue, the feet were blue. I touched that part of the body to try to get some kind of reaction and I immediately could tell how cold the body was," said Kevin Mull, a neighbor and the first person to find Woll.

He told the court he ran home to get his wife Jessica Robinson and to call 911. She would be the first to identify the victim after spotting her sweatshirt and hair clip.

"We followed the trail of drops of blood back the sidewalk and toward her unit and it was when we were standing in front of her unit we the door was open," she said.

When Detroit police responded, it was officer Derrik Doud who was one of first to arrive at the scene. He found Woll placed in the fetal position with her arms up to her chest. He would also be the first to enter the victim's town home. 

"I tiptoed around, made sure I didn’t step on any of the blood," he told the court.

In describing the scene, he saw signs of a struggle. A tray of beets had been knocked on the floor. A laptop was on the right armrest with blood on it. He also determined which doorways were for entering and which for exiting. 

In that preliminary investigation, he determined the rear exit was locked. 

Other officers who gave their testimony included a forensic technician and a homicide detective. Both walked the jury through graphic photos of the scene. 

A special agent with the FBI concluded the day's testimony. Eli Bowers was called to Lafayette Park due to the unusual nature of the scene. When asked why it was unusual, he told the court both the size of the scene and the volume of blood made it a tricky one to dissect.

The trial is expected to last three to four weeks. If found guilty, Jackson-Bolanos faces life in prison. 

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