Man Claims Discovery of Detroit Synagogue Leader's Body, Disavows Responsibility

Samantha Woll was the leader of a Detroit synagogue. The man accused of her murder denied any involvement to the jury on Wednesday, stating that he had never entered her home and had only discovered and handled her body outside.

When questioned by his lawyer about whether he had broken into Woll’s townhouse and stabbed her in October 2023, Michael Jackson-Bolanos repeatedly said, “absolutely not.”

East of Detroit’s downtown, Woll, forty, was discovered outside her residence. Investigators think she was assaulted inside the house but fled outside before passing out.

According to police, there were bloodstains on Jackson-Bolanos’ jacket from Woll. He can be seen strolling around the neighborhood on camera, but there is no proof that he was inside the house.

Jackson-Bolanos testified before the jury that he saw Woll’s body while looking for cars that were unlocked. His account explained how her blood might have gotten on his coat.

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“I didn’t shake the body,” he stated. “I just checked the neck — no air, no breath or nothing. Once I realized I just touched a dead person, I just grabbed the bag and I left.”

Jackson-Bolanos said that he did not disclose what he had discovered to the police.

“When I realized she was dead, I wanted nothing to do with the entire situation,” he stated to the jury. “I’m a Black guy in the middle of the night breaking into cars and I found myself standing in front of a dead white woman. That doesn’t look good at all.”


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