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Michigan Man Who Stabbed 5-Year-Old Stepdaughter to Death For Asking For Food Sentenced to Life in Prison

Courtesy of the Ingham County Sheriff's Department
Courtesy of the Ingham County Sheriff’s Department

A Holt, Mich. man will spend the rest of his life behind bars after being found guilty of stabbing his 5-year-old stepdaughter to death, and then dousing her in alcohol and lighting her on fire, because she woke him from a nap to ask for food.

The Lasing State Journal reports that Thomas McClellan was found guilty of first-degree murder, first-degree child abuse, and first-degree arson in July, and on Wednesday, July 23 he was sentenced.

Michigan law requires a life sentence for a first-degree murder conviction. McClellan was sentenced to between 18 and 30 years for each of the other offenses.

In a taped confession played during McClellan’s trial, he told detectives that he told the girl “it wasn’t dinner time.” USA Today reports that the confession went on to detail more about the murder, with McClellan stating that the girl wouldn’t leave his room and “gave me more attitude”. He then said that he pushed the girl to the ground, sat on her chest, and stabbed her multiple times with a pocket knife.

McClellan was given a chance to speak at his sentencing, but declined.

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