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Experts testify suspect's internet search in murder trial of Detroit synagogue leader Samantha Woll

Expert testifies internet search in Samantha Woll murder trial
Expert testifies internet search in Samantha Woll murder trial 02:19

(CBS DETROIT) - On Monday, Day 8 of the murder trial of Detroit synagogue leader Samantha Woll, the prosecution called several experts to the stand to testify about data extracted from Michael Jackson-Bolanos' cellphone. 

Jackson-Bolanos is accused of killing Woll, who was found stabbed outside of her home in October 2023.

Woll's ex-boyfriend, Jeffrey Herbstman, testified last week after he initially confessed to killing her. He was released from police custody in November 2023 after investigators could not find evidence that put him at the scene.

On Monday, Detective Sara Markel, with the Detroit Police Department, testified about internet searches found during a data extraction she performed. 

"I guess the only thing that I felt was odd is the same-day passport, which I don't believe is possible," Markel testified. 

Jackson-Bolanos' defense attorney, Brian Brown, fired back, stating that investigators were taking the search out of context.

"Were you able to look through Mr. Jackson-Bolanos' phone and see that he had searched for airlines that are hiring, did you see that?" Brown asked Markel. 

Breaking down the evidence in Samantha Woll murder trial 07:34

Markal responded that she did not recall off the top of her head.

Brown then asked Markel if she remembered a search result where Jackson-Bolanos searched for careers at Southwest Airlines. 

Markel again responded that she did not recall. 

Brown went on to suggest that detectives were selective in deciding what parts of his client's search history would be presented as evidence. 

In other parts of the cross-examination, Brown questioned the level of preservation of evidence in regard to extracting data from the phone by arguing that investigators did not document when the phones examined were placed into airplane mode. 

Investigators often turn a phone into airplane mode to prevent apps downloaded to the phone from updating automatically, potentially compromising or altering the data being collected. 

Witness testimony continues on Tuesday where prosecutors are expected to present the evidence related to blood found on a jacket owned by Jackson-Bolanos. 

According to prosecutors, the blood sample found on his jacket matched a blood sample taken from Woll's blood. 

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