Hazel Park Man Convicted In Friend’s Death, Body Mutilation

HAZEL PARK (WWJ/AP) – A Detroit-area man has been found guilty in the slaying of his 21-year-old friend.

A jury on Friday convicted Jordan McClanahan of first-degree murder and mutilation of a body after just an hour of deliberations.

Prosecutors say McClanahan killed Jessica White, then wrapped her body in a tarp and hid her corpse in the attic of the Hazel Park home he shared with his father.

Jessica Leigh White (Family photo)

Jessica Leigh White (Family photo)

White’s body was found last May, two weeks after she was reported missing. An autopsy determined White  had been strangled with a belt. Her fingertips were also cut off. Investigators believe White was killed the same day she was reported missing.

White’s mother told police she hadn’t heard from her daughter since early in the morning of Saturday, April 23, when she received a cryptic text about an argument between McClanahan and his father.

Questioned by detectives at this home, McClanahan admitted that White had been there, but claimed she’d left to visit someone in the 7 Mile and John R area in Detroit — setting off a search by police and volunteers in that area. McClanahan actually participated in the search.

“It’s disturbing to know that this gentleman was assisting the family in attempting to locate a person that he knew (was dead),” said Hazel Park Police Chief Martin Barner. “We know they have been friends since grade school.”

At an an arraignment at Hazel Park District Court, McClanahan told the judge that he had taken oxycontin as well as Xanax and was drinking alcohol on the night of White’s death.

McClanahan faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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