A Saginaw, Michigan, jury convicted a 21-year-old Michigan man on Wednesday of murdering and torturing his 28-year-old neighbor.
Lashon T. Hollman was arrested on charges of dropping a television set on Cassandra Nelson and then stabbing her 54 times on Feb. 1, 2012, in her apartment at 923 N. Harrison on Saginaw's West Side, MLive.com reported.
The hearing went on for a week and a half, but the jury of eight women and four men took less than 15 minutes to deliberate and convict Hollman of first-degree premeditated murder, torture and carrying a dangerous weapon with unlawful intent, the news site said.
Nelson most likely became unconscious after she was hit with the television set, stopped breathing and then essentially drowned in her own blood minutes later, County Medical Examiner Kanu Virani said during the trial. Virani called the head wound “quite bad.”
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The victim’s body was then stabbed 54 times in the upper back, back and neck. Authorities discovered the bloody knife underneath the box spring in Nelson's room. Hollman’s DNA was found on the bloody knife and a beer can that was found just feet from the victim’s body.
Hollman first told authorities he was in Nelson's apartment with another man. He claimed he left her apartment, leaving the victim and the other man alone. He alleged that when he returned to Nelson's apartment later that evening he saw the other man assaulting Nelson.
Hollman first told detectives the victim said to him, “Don’t let me die,” as he waited with her for 10 to 15 minutes. But jurors showed pictures of Nelson’s body laying face down on her stomach.
After being convicted, Hollman dropped his head and cried when the verdict was read in court. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 9 before Saginaw County Circuit Judge Darnell Jackson, who also presided over the trial.
First degree-murder and felony murder carry mandatory penalties of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
It’s currently unknown why Hollman tortured and murdered Nelson.