Inmate Sentenced to 34 Years for Fatal Stabbing of Friend and Dog

 Inmate Sentenced to 34 Years for Fatal Stabbing of Friend and Dog

(Burlington County Prosecutor LaChia)

A significant verdict was handed down by the judiciary system on Tuesday, February 13, as Donovan Hollingsworth, aged 27, was sentenced to an extensive term of imprisonment totaling 34 years. The sentencing, announced by Burlington County Prosecutor LaChia Bradshaw, marks the culmination of a tragic incident that transpired in 2022, resulting in the untimely demise of Hollingsworth’s friend, Thomas Pierson III, aged 26, along with Pierson’s beloved pet dog, Django, a cane corso.

Hollingsworth’s legal ordeal began with his arrest and subsequent trial, during which a jury delivered a verdict in August 2023. The conviction encompassed a range of charges, including first-degree murder, first-degree robbery, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, cruelty to animals, and unlawful possession of a weapon.

As a consequence, the judge overseeing the case imposed a sentence reflecting the severity of the crimes. The primary charge of first-degree murder garnered Hollingsworth a sentence of 30 years, with no possibility of parole. Additionally, he was handed a four-year sentence for the brutal killing of Django, the cherished canine companion of Pierson.

The tragic events leading to this outcome unfolded on February 5, 2022, when authorities from the Evesham Township Police Department responded to a distress call originating from the Olympus Apartments on Baker Boulevard. Upon arrival at the scene, officers were confronted with a harrowing sight: Pierson lying lifeless, bearing multiple stab wounds, and Django, his loyal companion, also found deceased, displaying evident signs of stab wounds.

Following a thorough investigation, law enforcement officials pieced together the events of that fateful day. It was determined that Hollingsworth, driven by motives of robbery, visited the residence of his friend, Pierson. However, what began as an attempt to commit theft quickly spiraled into a violent altercation between the two acquaintances.

In the heat of the confrontation, Hollingsworth resorted to wielding a weapon, resulting in fatal injuries inflicted upon both Pierson and his faithful canine companion, Django. Subsequently, Hollingsworth fled from the scene of the crime.

The resolution of this tragic incident came with Hollingsworth’s apprehension by the authorities, who located him at a hospital, where he was receiving medical treatment for injuries deemed non-life-threatening.

The sentencing of Hollingsworth serves as a somber reminder of the consequences of such heinous acts, bringing a measure of closure to the bereaved family and friends of the victims while underscoring the imperative of upholding justice within society.

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