By Devese “Dee” Ursery
Troy Police Chief, Brent Shownes on Wednesday, September 28, 2022, at approximately 9:51 a.m., announced that a Troy resident was charged in connection with the fire that killed a Troy woman, this past week.
Michael E. Sloan Jr., 40, of Troy was charged with three counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempt first-degree murder, one count of agggravated arson, and one count of unlawful restraint, according to court documents.
On September 22, at around 2:23 p.m. Troy police officers were dispatched to the 500 block of Wood Thrush for a domestic disturbance involving Sloan and Courtney Tomlinson, 39, of Troy. When officers arrived at the scene they observed another residence, in the same block, engulfed in flames. That residence belonged to Tomilnson’s mother Susanne Tomlinson, 69.
Police investigations revealed that Sloan allegedly held a knife to Courtney’s neck while he bound her hands with zip-ties and doused gasoline in her face. Courtney escaped, but in the process, Sloan quickly walked to her mother’s residence, poured gasoline throughout the house and ignited fire while he and Susanne Tomilnson were still inside.
Several Troy officers attempted to get inside the residence, but were turned away due to the intense heat, heavy smoke, and growing fire coming from inside. Sloan was pulled from the residence and transported, by EMS to a St. Louis area hospital for treatment of burns covering his entire body. Tomlinson’s body was discovered inside of the residence where she died from injuries sustained by the fire.
She was pronounced deceased by Madison County Coroner’s Office Investigator Shelbi Frakes at 4:45 p.m., according to a press release from the Madison County coroner’s Office.
“This was a senseless act of violence that shook the community,” said Madison County State’s Attorney, Tom Haine. “Our office extends [its] sympathy to the family as well as the witnesses, police officers, and firefighters who were there as the tragedy unfolded. Thanks to their courage, bravery, and great police work, our office can and will fight for justice for the victims.”
First-degree murder carries a sentence of 20 to 60 years in prison. Attempted first-degree murder and aggravated arson carries are punishable by up to 30 years in prison, while aggravated unlawful restraint carries a sentence of up to five years in prison.
Sloan’s bail has been set at $1 million, by the Honorable Judge Janet Heflin.