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Marine charged with murder, other counts in connection with beating death of Emerson student

Daniel Hollis.
Daniel Hollis.Courtesy of the Hollis Family

The US Marine Corps has charged a reservist lance corporal with murder and other counts in connection with the beating death last year of Emerson College student Daniel Hollis in Allston, the military confirmed Monday.

In a brief statement, the Marines confirmed the charges against Lance Corporal Samuel B. London. He faces charges including murder, manslaughter, assault and battery, and wrongful use of a controlled substance.

The statement added that the charges are “pending adjudication at a General Courts-Martial.”

The statement said charges are “merely an accusation and the accused is innocent until proven guilty.”

Hollis, a 19-year-old sophomore, suffered severe head trauma in a fight that broke out early on the morning of Sept. 28, 2019, on Park Vale Avenue, authorities have said. He died four days later in Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

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In February, a Suffolk County grand jury declined to hand up indictments in the case in civilian court.

“As a family, we are incredibly grateful to the NCIS Investigative Team and the Marine Corps prosecuting team for their tireless work and constant communication with our family,” Hollis’s relatives said in a recent statement. “Having experienced the disappointment of the Suffolk County Grand Jury’s decision in February, we were reluctant to share that the case was not over. The current proceedings are part of the public record and we felt it was time to share this news with those who loved Dan and those who have been touched by his story.”

Suffolk DA Rachael Rollins said in February after the civilian grand jury declined to indict that her office respected the panel’s findings, “however difficult they are to hear,” and that the office would “continue to provide all of the resources and support that his loved ones may need as they process and grieve Daniel’s death.”

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Hollis’s family said in their statement on the military charges that they miss their loved one every day.

“We know his loss is felt far beyond our immediate family and while nothing will bring him back, there is no longer the frustration and despair that the accused would not be called to account for their actions,” the family said. “It may be later than we had hoped, but the justice system is at work.”

Hollis’s relatives asked for privacy and said the best way “to support us and honor Dan’s memory during this time is to remember the light and goodness Dan brought us every day. Support our foundation as we continue to aid young people in making the world a better place through building community, healthy competition, and fostering curiosity.”


Hollis was found bleeding and unconscious by Boston Police, who responded around 1:30 a.m. on Sept. 28, 2019 to a report of an assault and battery in progress near 15 Park Vale Ave., according to law enforcement officials. London, a Marine visiting Boston on leave, was allegedly linked to the altercation.

The cause of Hollis’s death was blunt force head injuries, according to his death certificate, and police treated his passing as a homicide.

Hollis’s mother, Jennifer Kelly, wrote previously on the website CaringBridge.org that her son and his friends were leaving a party when they were “confronted by another group of college-aged boys.”

“Words were exchanged, pushing/shoving started, and in the scuffle, we believe Dan was hit and subsequently hit his head on cement/bricks as he fell,” Kelly wrote.

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A death notice posted last year to the Buma-Sargeant Funeral Home in Milford said Hollis was a 2018 graduate of Hopedale Junior and Senior High School, where he served as his class secretary for six years, was captain of the lacrosse team, and assistant captain for a co-op high school hockey team.

“Daniel was many things, student, athlete, leader, artist, music-lover, friend. He was just 19 years old and only beginning to experience the world around him,” read his death notice.

Marine officials, who publicly identified London in November 2019, said at the time that plans were underway for his separation from the military.

Asked about London’s duty status Monday, a Marines spokesman said London remains assigned to Rifle Company A, 1st Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment located at Fort Devens. His duty status is Selected Marine Corps Reserve, the spokesman said.



Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.