Samantha Woll murder trial: Prosecution rests, defense begins on day 12

Four law enforcement members took the stand on day 12 of the Samantha Woll Murder trial on Tuesday.

The prosecution rested its case three weeks into the trial. The defense began presenting to the jury.

Prominent Jewish leader Samantha Woll was found dead outside her home in the 1360 block of Joliet Place in Detroit after being stabbed multiple times inside her residence in Oct. 2023. Michael Jackson-Bolanos has been charged with first-degree murder, home invasion, and lying to a peace officer in connection to Woll's murder.

Defense attorney, Brian Brown, first questioned why an officer had Jackson-Bolanos in handcuffs during an interrogation clip, which was played for the jury. 

"There was a disturbance in there right before you showed it where there were some tables and chairs pushed around," the officer explained. "He got combative right before the part you’re showing… He was handcuffed at the end because he needed to be handcuffed."

After the prosecution rested, the defense called Michigan State Police Detective Elizabeth Stockmeyer to the stand, who’s the current officer in charge of the investigation.

Attorney Brown tried to tie Woll’s murder to one of her ex-boyfriends, who investigators have said is innocent.

Brown questioned if MSP did a complete job vetting Woll's ex-boyfriend, Aaron Pergament, who Brown claims lied to police about a key to Woll’s lockbox. Prosecutors poked holes in the defense’s argument that neither ex was there the night someone killed Woll.

"If somebody in a criminal investigation lies about having a key to a murder victim's house, then you find out he lied about it. That’s not something you would remember?" Brown asked the detective.

"Again, it does not say ‘I have a key to your house.’ We don’t know what the key is for," Stockmeyer said.

Jackson-Bolanos has admitted that he was in the area at the time of Woll's murder but said he had nothing to do with it. He maintained his innocence regarding home invasions or his involvement in Woll's death.

"I don't know this woman. I don't know anything about the woman," he told police during his police interrogation. "I was in the wrong place, wrong time."

The trial continues on Wednesday.