Evesham Man Receives 34-year Sentence for Killing Friend and his Dog

Burlington County Prosecutor LaChia L. Bradshaw announced that a 27-year-old Evesham man has been sentenced to 34 years in state prison for fatally stabbing a friend, as well as his dog, while robbing him in early 2022.

The sentence was handed down Friday in Superior Court in Mount Holly by the Hon. Terrence R. Cook, P.J.Cr., to Donovan G. Hollingsworth, who was convicted by a jury in August. After deliberating for just over an hour, the panel returned guilty verdicts on charges of Murder (First Degree), Robbery (First Degree), Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose (Third Degree), Cruelty to Animals (Third Degree) and Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (Fourth Degree).

Judge Cook ruled Friday that Hollingsworth must serve 30 years in prison with no parole eligibility for the murder, then serve an additional four years for killing the dog.

The investigation began the morning of February 5, 2022, when officers from the Evesham Township Police Department were called to the Olympus Apartments on Baker Boulevard for a report of a possible dog attack on a resident. When officers arrived, they discovered Thomas Pierson III, 26, of Evesham, deceased inside his residence with multiple stab wounds.

The victim’s dog, a Cane Corso named Django, was found dead – also with stab wounds – on a stairwell landing. The investigation revealed that Hollingsworth traveled to Pierson’s apartment with the intention of robbing him. An altercation ensued, during which Hollingsworth stabbed Pierson and Django. Hollingsworth fled and was later taken into custody by Evesham Township police officers at the emergency room of Virtua Voorhees Hospital, where he had gone for treatment of minor injuries.

The investigation was conducted by the Prosecutor’s Office and the Evesham Township Police Department. The lead investigators were BCPO Detective Sergeant Brian Cunningham and ETPD Detective Joseph Magnus.

Hollingsworth was prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutors Bob VanGilst and Jasmine Bealor. Assistant Prosecutor VanGilst supervises the BCPO Major Crimes Unit.

2024-05 Evesham Homicide and Animal Cruelty Sentencing

Previous Willingboro Man Fatally Shot at Eastampton Apartment Complex
Next Former Mount Laurel Police Officer Indicted on Multiple Charges Related to Illegally Accessing Social Media Accounts and Distributing Private Images