“Evesham Man Convicted of Murdering Friend and Pet Dog, Jury Verdict Declares”

Burlington County Prosecutor LaChia L. Bradshaw made an official declaration on Thursday, stating that a 26-year-old resident of Evesham, Donovan G. Hollingsworth, has been found guilty of the heinous crimes of fatally stabbing a friend and his dog during a robbery that took place in early 2022. The verdict came after the jury deliberated for a little over an hour, whereupon they returned with a unanimous guilty verdict against Hollingsworth for the charges of First Degree Murder, First Degree Robbery, Third Degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, Third Degree Cruelty to Animals, and Fourth Degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon. The Honorable Christopher J. Garrenger, J.S.C., has scheduled the sentencing for October 27 at the Burlington County Courthouse in Mount Holly. It is important to note that Hollingsworth has been detained at the Burlington County Jail since his arrest took place a few hours after the brutal slayings.

The investigation into these shocking incidents commenced on the morning of February 5, 2022, when officers from the Evesham Township Police Department received a distress call regarding a possible dog attack on a resident residing in the Olympus Apartments on Baker Boulevard. Upon arrival at the scene, the officers were met with the gruesome discovery of the lifeless body of Thomas Pierson III, a 26-year-old Evesham local, who had succumbed to multiple stab wounds inside his residence. To their horror, officers also discovered that the victim’s dog, a Cane Corso named Django, had suffered a similar fate and was found dead, stabbed in the same manner, on a landing in the stairwell. The subsequent investigation unraveled the harrowing truth that Hollingsworth had planned to rob Pierson and, during their altercation, had viciously stabbed both Pierson and his defenseless dog. Following the incident, Hollingsworth fled the scene but was apprehended by the Evesham Township police officers at Virtua Voorhees Hospital’s emergency room, where he had sought treatment for minor injuries.

This extensive investigation was meticulously carried out by both the Prosecutor’s Office and the Evesham Township Police Department, with the commendable efforts and collaboration of BCPO Detective Sergeant Brian Cunningham and ETPD Detective Joseph Magnus serving as the lead investigators.

In the courtroom, overseeing the prosecution, were Assistant Prosecutors Bob VanGilst and Jasmine Bealor. Assistant Prosecutor VanGilst leads and supervises the BCPO Major Crimes Unit, ensuring that justice is served for the victims of such heinous crimes.

The conviction of Donovan G. Hollingsworth is indeed a significant milestone for the justice system, sending a strong message that these abhorrent acts of violence, perpetrated not only against humans but also innocent animals, will not go unpunished. The scheduled sentencing on October 27 at the Burlington County Courthouse will determine the appropriate consequences for these unforgivable actions.

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