Holt man killed step-daughter because she was hungry gets life

Thomas McClellan, 25, was convicted of killing his step-daughter. He admitted to detectives that he did so because she woke him up from a nap and said that she was hungry

A Holt, Michigan, man who admitted to stabbing and killing his step-daughter because she woke him up from a nap to ask for food was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison

Thomas McClellan, 25, will spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole. He was found guilty in a bench trial of first degree murder. Michigan law requires a life sentence for first-degree murder conviction.

Michigan man admitted to stabbing step-daughter because 'it wasn't dinner time'

According to the Lansing State Journal, the judge in the trail sentenced him to 18 to 30 years on the other two charges.

McClellan was convicted of stabbing and killing Luna Younger, his 5-year-old step-daughter, last November. After killing the girl, he then tried to burn her body to hide evidence.

He told Ingham County Sheriff Detective Charles Buckland that had been arguing with the girl's mother - Victoria King - all day on November 1, 2016. The two had been married about three months earlier.

He said that when King went to work, he was home alone with the girl and he was taking a nap. Around 5 p.m., she knocked on the bedroom door.

The little girl was hungry and asked him to make him something to eat. He tried to get her to leave but she sat on the floor and didn't move.

He tried to nudge her out the door but she resisted. He broke.

"It tipped me over the edge," McClellan said. "She gave me more attitude."

He said he grabbed the kindergartner by the shoulder and pulled her to the floor. Then he sat on her and used a pocket knife to stab her in the chest numerous times.

"What'd she do when you stabbed her," the detective asked.

"She cried, and she coughed," McClellan responded. "Not very long."

Prosecutors said he later covered her body with blankets and set them on fire. This was an attempt to destroy the evidence, the prosecutor claimed.

The girl died from the five to nine stab wounds to the chest, a medical examiner testified.

After the murder, McClellan didn't call 911. He took a shower, packed a bag, discarded his cell phone, withdrew cash from the ATM, and then bought a new phone before he checked into a local motel.

The family has set up a memorial fund in her honor.