A 25-year-old Michigan man, Thomas McClellan, accused of stabbing his 5-year-old stepdaughter to death and then starting a fire to hide the crime will stand trial, reports CBS affiliate WLNS.
On Thursday, McClellan was in court for his preliminary examination on charges of open murder, arson and child abuse. He could be sentenced to life in prison on each charge.
According to investigators 5-year-old Luna Younger was stabbed to death in early November.
A detective testified on Thursday that McClellan, is married to the girl’s mother, admitted that he “snapped” when the 5-year-old said she wanted food and wouldn’t leave his room at a Holt apartment complex.
The Lansing State Journal reports that Det. Chuck Buckland said McClellan told him he stabbed the girl in the chest, covered her body with blankets and then poured vodka on the pile and set it on fire.
The girl’s mother reportedly told police she was at work at the time of her daughter’s death and that she and McClellan had been arguing earlier in the day.
McClellan who was employed at a Lansing restaurant was identified as a suspect soon after the child’s body was found by firefighters.
McClellan was ordered to stand trial during a Dec. 29 court hearing.