Michael J. Sloan, Jr.EDWARDSVILLE — Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Haine announced Monday that a Troy man has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in connection with the fire-related death of a woman in Troy. Michael E. Sloan Jr., 41, of Troy, pleaded guilty to the charge during a hearing Monday before Associate Judge Neil Schroeder in Circuit Court in Madison County. Sloan faces up to 50 years in prison. His sentencing hearing is set for Feb. 26.

“We intend to seek the full 50-year term,” Haine said. “This was an especially heinous and cruel crime.”

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Sloan admitted that he set fire to the home of 69-year-old Susanne Tomlinson in the 500 block of Wood Thrush in Troy on Sept. 22, 2022, knowing that she was inside. The fire resulted in the death of Tomlinson.

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Assistant State’s Attorney Lauren Maricle, in outlining the case to the court, said evidence and testimony would show that Sloan poured gasoline in Tomlinson’s duplex and doused her with gasoline. Sloan also threw gasoline onto Tomlinson’s adult daughter, but she managed to escape and seek help.

A neighbor called police after seeing the daughter running down the street. When police arrived moments later, they saw Sloan hold a cigarette lighter above his head and flick the lighter, resulting in a fireball. Sloan had yelled to police that he intended to kill everyone, according to Maricle. Flames and heavy smoke hindered attempts to get into the burning home. An autopsy revealed that Susanne Tomlinson died of smoke inhalation and burn injuries.

Sloan was rescued from the fire and taken into custody after receiving medical treatment at a hospital. Haine thanked Troy Police, Troy Fire Protection District, Madison County Coroner, Illinois State Police and Illinois State Fire Marshal for their diligent work on the case. He also commended Maricle and the Violent Crimes Unit of the State’s Attorney’s Office.

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