Dad Gets Life For Stabbing, Burning Step-Daughter Because She Interrupted His Nap

She was hungry but "it wasn't dinner time."

By Sowmya Krishnamurthy

A Michigan man has been sentenced to life in prison for the brutal killing of his 5-year-old stepdaughter. The child reportedly woke him up from his nap asking for food at which point, he stabbed and then burned the child. According to the Lansing State Journal, Thomas McClellan was found guilty of first-degree murder, first-degree child abuse and first-degree arson in the death of Luna on Friday.

McClellan had told authorities in his confession that he had argued with the girl's mother, Victoria King, earlier that day on November 1, 2016. The two were married a few months prior. While King was at work and he took a nap, the kindergartner came in asking for food. He tried to shoo her away and told her, "it wasn’t dinner time” but she wouldn't leave the room. "It tipped me over the edge," McClellan said. "She gave me more attitude."

At that point, 25-year-old McClellan grabbed the child by the shoulder and pulled her onto the floor of his bedroom. He sat on her and used a pocket knife to stab her in the chest multiple times. After the act, he covered the body with blankets and set them on fire, per prosecutors, as an attempt to destroy evidence.

He then took a shower, packed a bag and lit the girls' body on fire, per prosecutors.  He proceeded to withdraw money from an ATM, get a new phone and check into a motel. The child's body was eventually found by firefighters who responded to the fire.

“It is simply inexplicable," the judge who ruled said. McClellen will be sentenced on Aug. 23.

[Photo: Facebook, Ingham County Sheriff's Office]














The interview, recorded when McClellan turned himself in hours after the girl's burned body was found by firefighters inside a Holt apartment, was played Thursday afternoon during McClellan's murder trial in Ingham County's 30th Circuit Court.

"What was so awful about Luna today that you had to kill her," Buckland asked.

The detective, a 22-year veteran of the Ingham County Sheriff's Office, let the long silence that followed hang heavily over the small room.

"I don't wanna guess something, Tom. I wanna hear it from you."

Another long silence. The detective asked again.

"What'd she do, Tom?"

Finally, McClellan responded: "I told her it wasn't dinner time."


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