A Michigan man will spend the rest of his life behind bars after he stabbed his stepdaughter to death and set her on fire. He killed the young girl because she was hungry, court records indicated on Thursday during trial at a Lansing courthouse.
The Lansing State Journal reports that Thomas McClellan, of Holt, told detectives that he spent the day on November 1, 2016, arguing with the child’s mother, Victoria King, before taking a nap. At around 5 p.m., the little girl, identified as 5-year-old Luna Younger, knocked on McClellan’s bedroom door at the Old Orchard Apartments in Holt, and told him she was hungry. King, who married McClellan three months prior, was working.
The 25-year-old Holt man will spend the rest of his life in prison for stabbing then burning Luna Younger, his 5-year-old stepdaughter.
McClellan told Detective Charles Buckland, of the Ingham County Sheriff’s Office, that there was no other motive to kill Luna, aside from the fact she bothered him for food while he was sleeping.
“I told her it wasn’t dinner time. It tipped me over the edge. She gave me more attitude.”
When the little girl pressed Holt to feed her, he grabbed her by the shoulder, threw her onto the floor, sat on top of her, pulled out pocket knife and stabbed her chest at least five times.
McClellan admitted that the little girl cried and coughed as he stabbed her, but that it ended quickly. Prosecutors said that McClellan then set the girl’s body on fire in an attempt to cover up the stabbings, after dousing her in vodka and wrapping her in a blanket and paper towels.
The flames quickly spread throughout McClellan’s apartment, prompting a visit from the Delhi Township fire department.
Firefighter Corey Drolett found Luna inside a closet, covered with a blanket. He transferred out of a window to another firefighter, who started CPR on the girl. Yet, it became apparent that she was already deceased and suffered numerous stab wounds.
McClellan, who left the apartment and checked into a local motel after he started the fire, later admitted to police that he killed Luna. He’s charged with first-degree murder, first-degree child abuse and first-degree arson. His attorneys argued that based on him admitting to the crime, he should be charged with second-degree murder instead of first.
Regardless, on Friday morning, Ingham County Circuit Judge Joyce Draganuchuk found McClellan guilty of first-degree murder, first-degree child abuse and first-degree arson.
The first-degree murder conviction carries a mandatory life without any parole possibilities. The state of Michigan does not have the death penalty.
[Feature Photo: Police Handout]