A man from Michigan who admitted to the police about killing his 5-year-old stepdaughter and setting the family’s apartment on fire just because she interrupted his nap has been convicted of first-degree murder.
Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Joyce Draganuchuk also found Thomas McClellan, 25, from Holt guilty of first-degree child abuse and first-degree arson on Friday. McClellan is scheduled to be sentenced August 23 to life in prison without parole.
Defense lawyer Patrick Crowley tried to argue that a second-degree conviction would have been more appropriate.
Authorities say McCIellan told officers he stabbed the child, Luna Younger, on November 1 last year, and then went on to set fire the Lansing-area apartment to destroy evidence of the killing. In a taped confession which was played during the trial, McCIellan said he killed the girl because she interrupted his nap and asked him for something to eat.
McClellan shared to the investigators that he got mad at the young girl and told her it wasn’t time for dinner yet. He then asked the child to leave his room, but she sat on the floor instead.
The local media reported that McClellan got upset with the girl’s actions. He confessed:”"It tipped me over the edge. She gave me more attitude."
That's when he said he lost it and fatally stabbed the little, helpless girl. Prosecutors said he wrapped the child's body in blankets afterward and set it aflame in an attempt to cover up his crime, according to a report by the Lansing Journal.
Arguments and testimony in his three-day trial wrapped up Thursday. McClellan did not take the stand in his own defense, according to reports from CBS affiliate WLNS.
There are no reports yet on the reaction of McClellan’s partner and the little girl’s mother and her family on his conviction for the savage and unimaginable horrific crime against an innocent child killed just because she asked for food.