photo: Michigan Department of Corrections/2013

Ex-Con To Stand Trial In Retired U-M Professor's Stabbing Death

July 28, 2018 - 1:32 pm

ANN ARBOR (WWJ/AP) - An 29-year-old ex-convict has been ordered to trial in the fatal stabbing of a retired University of Michigan chemistry professor.

A judge on Friday found probable cause to send Isom Hamilton to trial on a murder charge and other crimes in the Death of Robert Sharp, who was repeatedly stabbed during a break-in at his Ann Arbor home June 10. His body was burned after he was killed.

Judge Karen Quinlan Valvo says there's "significant" circumstantial evidence against Hamilton so far.

DNA tests haven't been completed yet, and defense attorney Stephen Adams argued there's not enough evidence against Hamilton, who was arrested June 27. Police say investigators found him with laptops and other possessions that belonged to the victim.

A medical examiner testified that Sharp bled to death after suffering 28 cuts, 11 of which were classified as stab wounds, reported. The 76-year-old was already dead when he was set on fire, and was burned so badly that his body was separated into two parts, according to the report. 

Sharp had retired from the University of Michigan in 2008 after being on the faculty 39 years.

In addition to murder, Hamilton is charged with armed robbery, first-degree arson, first-degree home invasion and mutilation of a dead body. He was ordered held without bond ahead of a pretrial hearing on Aug. 30.

According to the Michigan Department of Corrections, Hamilton was paroled in Nov. 2017 after serving four years of a maximum 20-year prison sentence on charges of assaulting a police officer, possession of a dangerous weapon and first-degree home invasion.