The Murder Tapes is examining the murder case of Professor Robert Sharp from the University of Michigan, who was killed in a home invasion by Isom Hamilton in 2018.
Sharp had known his killer as Hamilton worked at the Wendy’s, where the professor regularly stopped for lunch in his hometown of Ann Arbor, Michigan.
It’s believed that Hamilton broke into Sharp’s home with the intention of robbing him, but that when he was interrupted by his victim, he resorted to killing him. The killer then tried to cover up his crime by setting the place on fire.
On June 11, 2018, the 76-year-old professor emeritus of chemistry was found stabbed to death and severely burned under a pile of his charred possessions.
The police learned from studying cell phone data that Hamilton had been in the vicinity of the crime scene around the time of the murder. They also discovered that there was an attempted transfer of cash from Sharp’s credit card to an account owned by Hamilton.
Furthermore, a number of electronic devices, including a laptop, had been stolen from Sharp’s home. Hamilton was later spotted with the items on surveillance footage, and when the cops went to arrest him, they found him still in possession of the items.
Isom Hamilton claims he did not murder Robert Sharp
Hamilton has long maintained his innocence; in court, he said he sympathized with Sharp’s family but insisted: “I didn’t do none of this.” His defense lawyers pointed out that his DNA and fingerprints were not located at the murder scene.
At the trial, Sharp’s son, David, asked if Hamilton is “haunted by the horror” in his father’s eyes when he died.
Hamilton was an ex-con who had already received a conviction for a home invasion six years previously. On this occasion, he was found guilty of committing first-degree murder and arson. He was also convicted of mutilating a dead body.
In June 2019, Hamilton was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. In March 2021, The Michigan Court of Appeals turned down his appeal and ruled that he would have to serve out his sentence.
More from The Murder Tapes
Follow the links to read about more crimes profiled on The Murder Tapes.
An argument in a parking lot in Evansville, Indiana, led to Darius Bushrod gunning down Anthony Blaylock in a cold-blooded attack. The murder occurred in the middle of the night, but happened in front of numerous witnesses.
Juarez-Montanez and Cornell Head were both interested in the same woman in Kalamazoo, Michigan. One night in 2017, Juarez-Montanez confronted Head and his girlfriend in a parking lot opposite her apartment. Head then shot him multiple times in the torso and fled the scene.
The Murder Tapes airs at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.