Hazel Park man set for trial in murder, mutilation case
A Hazel Park man was bound over for trial Friday on murder and mutilation charges in the death of a woman found in his attic with her fingers severed, according to court officials.
Jordan McClanahan, 24, of Hazel Park is charged with first-degree felony murder and mutilation of a body in the death of 21-year-old Jessica White, found May 3 in the attic of McClanahan’s home on East Woodward Heights in Hazel Park.
He appeared Friday in Hazel Park before Judge Charles Goedert, court officials said. He is being held without bail pending his next appearance Sept. 6 in Oakland County Circuit Court before Judge Leo Bowman.
Investigators believe McClanahan choked White to death with a belt in his 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.
The murder charge is punishable by up to life in prison without parole. The body mutilation charge carries a 10-year prison sentence.
In his arraignment in May, McClanahan appeared to begin explaining that he had used drugs and alcohol the night of the murder.
“The evening I picked (White) up, I had been taking medication, Oxycontin and Xanax and mixed it up with some Wellbutrin and Ibuprofin,” he told Ferndale 43rd District Judge Charles Goedert. “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.
White told family she was at McClanahan’s home the night of the murder, according to investigators.
When the young woman did not return home by the following morning, family and friends filed a missing persons report and took to the streets for several days, passing out fliers seeking information on where whereabouts.
McClanahan later surrendered to Troy police, accompanied by his father. He allegedly informed detectives where they could find White’s body.