Samantha Woll murder: Defense deflects attention toward search of her ex-boyfriend's home

On Thursday in court, body camera video of police at the Detroit home of Samantha Woll's ex-boyfriend on November 8th was shown in court.

The footage taken just after Jeffrey Herbstman confessed to killing her. Police photographed the scene there - including prescription drugs, keys, surgical gloves, photographs of Herbstman and Samantha Woll, and a eulogy.

"There was a folding knife, a key, black jacket, and a jar, and a bag of mushrooms," testified Katelyn Hom, Detroit police forensic technician. "It did not indicate the presence of blood."

Investigators say it was not used to kill Samantha Woll at her Detroit townhome in the early morning hours of October 21st - when she was stabbed eight times.

"Did you ever find any evidence related to any of those search warrants - related to Jeff Herbstman that connected him to the death of Samantha Woll?"

"No," said Det. Alexander Martinez.

But Martinez, with the Michigan State Police Homicide Task Force says, they found something else in the parking lot - near the murder scene.

"There's a vehicle that had flat tires and it appeared that the tires had been either slashed or struck with a knife," he said.

Martinez testified he reviewed security camera video from a nearby school - and saw someone at that car.

"I continued to observe that individual, what I believe is, the individual pulling on a door handle in the parking lot where the victim's townhouse was at," he said, "It looked like entry was gained inside and possibly a bag was being carried, at some point after."

Prosecutors allege that was suspect Michael Jackson-Bolanos - and that he murdered Samantha Woll.

When he was arrested in late November- in his car, they found a bag split in two as well as his cellphone - analysis of his cellphone finding this search history on November 12th, 2023.

"The search was Detroit Same Day Passport," testified an investigator.

The search is significant, prosecutors say, because media reports the day before had revealed Jeffrey Herbstman had been released from police custody.

But defense attorney Brian Brown noted that police didn't search Herbstman's bicycle for any signs of blood or his firepit for any evidence.

Herbstman has since said he was at his home when Samantha Woll was killed and his cellphone was with him.

Brown: "You stated that some suspects leave their cellular devices at home when they go out to commit a crime."

"That is a possibility, yes," Martinez said.

Brown continued to try to create reasonable doubt - questioning the detective about another ex-boyfriend.

Brown: "Aaron Pergament had a key to Samantha Woll's residence - isn't that correct?"

"Yes," Martinez said.

Brown: "Aaron Pergament was being deceitful when asked about that key to Samantha Woll's house by Officer Crenshaw - correct?"

"Yes," Martinez said.

Brown: "That particular key was never returned back to Samantha Woll - correct?"

"Yes," he said.

Top left: Samantha Woll, bottom left: Suspect Michael Jackson Bolonos. Main photo: MSP Det. Alexander Martinez testifies.

Top left: Samantha Woll, bottom left: Suspect Michael Jackson Bolonos. Main photo: MSP Det. Alexander Martinez testifies.