Guilty plea in Troy, Illinois fatal arson case

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EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – A Troy, Illinois, man faces up to 50 years in state prison after pleading guilty to murder for a 2022 fatal arson.

The Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office said Michael Sloan Jr. admitted threatening to kill his female roommate and later torching her mother’s home.

On Sept. 22, 2022, Troy police were responding to a domestic disturbance call at a duplex on Wood Thrush Street around 2:30 p.m. After police arrived, they noticed a large fire at a nearby home and contacted the fire department for assistance.

The flames and heavy smoke delayed firefighters from getting into the residence. The homeowner, Susanne Tomlinson, was found dead inside. An autopsy confirmed Tomlinson died of smoke inhalation. She was 69.

Firefighters also pulled Sloan from the burning house. He was brought to a St. Louis-area hospital for treatment.

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Investigators learned Sloan lived with Tomlinson’s daughter at the duplex on Wood Thrush.

According to prosecutors, Sloan attempted to kill Tomlinson’s adult daughter. He allegedly ordered her to bind herself with zip-ties, then doused her with gasoline, held a knife to her throat, and said he would kill her.

The daughter managed to escape and flee to a neighbor’s home. Sloan then went to Tomlinson’s house with a gas can and started the fire.

Police arrived to find Sloan holding a cigarette lighter above his head. Sloan flicked the lighter and ignited a fireball. Prosecutors told the court that Sloan told police he intended to kill everyone.

Sloan was arrested after receiving medical treatment.

Sloan, 41, ultimately pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree murder. Madison County State’s Attorney Thomas Haine said he plans to seek the full 50-year sentence against Sloan.


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