34-Year Prison Sentence Handed Down in Brutal Stabbing Case: Friend and Canine Victim Remembered

by Jessica

Burlington County Prosecutor LaChia Bradshaw declared on Tuesday, February 13, that a judge had sentenced Donovan Hollingsworth to 34 years in state prison in connection with the tragic stabbing death of his friend, Thomas Pierson III, aged 26, and his canine companion, a cane corso named Django. According to TCD

In a verdict handed down in August 2023, a jury convicted Hollingsworth on charges of first-degree murder, first-degree robbery, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, cruelty to animals, and unlawful possession of a weapon.

For the murder charge, Hollingsworth received a sentence of 30 years without parole eligibility, while an additional four years were imposed for the cruel act of fatally stabbing the dog.

The incident unfolded on February 5, 2022, when officers from the Evesham Township Police responded to a distress call at the Olympus Apartments on Baker Boulevard regarding a potential dog attack. Upon arrival, law enforcement discovered Pierson deceased with multiple stab wounds and Django, the cane corso, also lifeless with apparent stab wounds on a stairwell landing.

Investigations revealed that Hollingsworth had visited his friend’s residence with the intent to rob him, leading to a confrontation that escalated into a violent altercation. During the struggle, Hollingsworth not only stabbed Pierson but also inflicted fatal wounds upon Django before fleeing the scene.

The police subsequently apprehended Hollingsworth at a hospital, where he was undergoing medical treatment for non-life-threatening injuries. The sentencing underscores the gravity of the crimes committed and serves as a sad conclusion to a tragic event that claimed both human and animal lives.

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