Hazel Park suspect in Troy woman’s killing to undergo evaluations
Hazel Park — A man charged in the death of a 21-year-old Troy woman found in the attic rafters of his home will undergo psychiatric tests, a district judge ordered Tuesday.
Jordan McClanahan, 24, of Hazel Park is charged with first-degree felony murder and mutilation of a body in the death of Jessica White, found May 3 in the attic of McClanahan’s home on East Woodward Heights in Hazel Park.
Investigators believe McClanahan choked White to death with a belt in his adjacent bedroom April 24 and then hid her body in the attic. McClanahan has allegedly made statements to detectives implicating himself in the death, hiding the body and cutting off White’s fingertips with a bolt cutter.
“I have had an opportunity to talk with him but am still getting discovery (reports) and feel we should have a forensic exam for criminal responsibility,” court-appointed attorney Raymond Correll told Ferndale 43rd District Judge Charles Goedert at McClanahan’s probable cause hearing.
Assistant prosecuting attorney Jeffrey Formancyk also agreed with a forensic evaluation for McClanahan and Goedert ordered the tests for criminal responsibility and competency. McClanahan was in the courtroom but said nothing.
The tests, which take about 60 days, will by done at the Ypsilanti Center For Forensic Psychiatry to determine if McClanahan is competent and able to understand the wrongfulness of the alleged acts and also aid Correll in his defense.
The tests are designed to assess a person’s mental state and also what it was at the time an alleged offense was committed. The evaluations are to determine whether a person understands the criminal charges and if there is a mental inability to appreciate the wrongfulness of acts or an ability to conform behavior to the law.
In his arraignment on charges earlier this month, McClanahan appeared to be trying to explain he had used drugs and alcohol that night. He told Goedert “the evening I picked her (White) up I had been taking medication, Oxycontin and Xanax and mixed it up with some Wellbutrin and ibuprofin. I went to a party store and we were drinking and my dad ... .”
At that point Goedert stopped McClanahan and suggested he not say anything further without first consulting with an attorney.
Goedert continued a not-guilty plea for McClanahaan and ordered him held in the Oakland County Jail without bond 10 a.m. July 15 probable cause hearing.
The murder charge is punishable by up to life in prison without parole. The body mutilation charge carries a 10-year prison sentence.
McClanahan and White were not romantically involved, her mother Karen White insists, but had known each other since grade school and occasionally “hung out.” On April 23, Jessica White told her mother McClanahan was coming by to pick her up but she planned to return home in a few hours.
When her daughter did not return home by the following morning family and friends worried and filed a missing persons report.
McClanahan initially told police he had dropped White off in Detroit on April 24.
White has sent text messages to her mother and a cousin around 2:30 a.m. that day saying her friend and his father were arguing and it was an “awkward” situation.
The mother did not read the text until several hours later. When she confronted McClanahan he gave inconsistent statements. His father told police neither he nor his son knew White.
For unknown reasons, McClanahan, accompanied by his father, surrendered to Troy police a few days later, admitted he lied and White was dead and her body wrapped in a tarp in the attic, according to a detective.
Based on that information police found the missing White.