A Michigan man “snapped,” fatally stabbing his 5-year-old stepdaughter because she asked him for a snack, a court heard on Thursday.
According to testimony from an Ingham County detective, Thomas McClellan, 25, admitted that he pushed Luna Michelle Younger to the ground, sat on her, and stabbed her in the chest before covering her body in sheets, pouring vodka onto it, and lighting it on fire. According to a medical examiner, Luna was stabbed at least five times.
First responder Delhi Township firefighter Corey Drolett said that he thought the little girl might have been hiding from the fire when he first arrived to put out the flames. However, after searching a closet and under a bed, he found her under the smoldering sheets. He instantly knew that she had already died, but lightly passed her body through a window in order for another firefighter to perform CPR on her anyway.
“Based on the situation [I] felt that would show [the mother] that we were attempting some effort,” Drolett said during testimony.
Luna’s mother, Victoria McClellan, was at work while the incident occurred. She told officials that she and her husband had been “bickering” earlier that day and that she was the one who convinced him to surrender to police.
McClellan, who does not have a criminal history, has been charged with murder, first-degree child abuse, and first-degree arson. He faces up to life in prison if convicted.