Family friend gets life plus 10 in murder of Troy woman
Pontiac — A man convicted of the 2016 gruesome killing and mutilation of a 21-year-old Troy woman was cursed as a deceptive “monster” who deserved to “rot in hell” Wednesday by the victim’s mother in Oakland Circuit Court.
Karen White made the remarks in an emotional impact statement before Judge Leo Bowman. The judge sentenced Jordan McClanahan, 24, for the death of Jessica White, found last May in the attic rafters of McClanahan’s Hazel Park home after an extensive search by the woman’s family and friends.
“You are a monster of the worst kind ... listening to you telling us how much you cared for our family,” White said, choking back tears as she recalled how McClanahan lied to her and others as they desperately handed out thousands of fliers and searched abandoned buildings for the missing woman.
“Everything about you makes me sick; I wish you nothing but evil in prison and jailhouse justice,” she said. “... rot in hell, you monster.”
Bowman sentenced McClanahan to an automatic life in prison without parole for first-degree felony murder and another 10-year term for the mutilation of Jessica White.
Her body was found May 4 in the attic of McClanahan’s home on East Woodward Heights in Hazel Park, despite his repeated claims that he knew nothing about her whereabouts.
Investigators believe McClanahan choked White to death with a belt in his bedroom on April 24 then wrapped her body in a tarp and hid it in the attic.
McClanahan, who did not testify at trial, made videotaped statements to detectives implicating himself in the death, hiding the body and cutting off her fingertips with a bolt cutter.
Before he was sentenced, an emotionless McClanahan told the family he was sorry and “wished I could bring Jessie back.”
“I was really messed up and at a really bad time in my life,” said McClanahan, in a level tone. “I lost my mom ... screwed up on street drugs ... I lost someone I cared very deeply about.
“I hope one day you can understand I never meant to hurt Jessie.”
As he was led from the courtroom, several family and friends stared intently at McClanahan and one woman gave him an obscene hand gesture.
Karen White had told investigators and reporters her daughter and McClanahan were not romantically involved but had known each other since grade school and occasionally “hung out.” On April 23, Jessica White had told her mother she was going out with McClanahan but planned to return in a few hours.
Jessica White later sent text messages to her mother and a cousin around 2:30 a.m. saying McClanahan and his father were arguing and it was an “awkward” situation.
Karen White said she did not read the texts until several hours later. When she later confronted McClanahan face-to-face he gave inconsistent statements, at one point saying he had dropped Jessica White off in a Detroit neighborhood. His father initially told police that neither he nor his son knew White and would yell at searchers going door-to-door in the neighborhood with fliers.
A few days later McClanahan, accompanied by his father, surrendered to Troy police. McClanahan’s father had taken him to police when another family member said there was a strong smell coming from their attic.
Karen White praised Troy detectives for their work and assistant prosecutor Jeffrey Hall credited White’s family and friends with keeping pressure on authorities to continue searching for the woman.
“Without them, this might not ever have been solved,” Hall noted.