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Man zip-tied girlfriend's hands, doused her in gasoline before killing her mother in fire, charges say

Michael Sloan Jr. was charged with first-degree murder and multiple other charges after police said he killed his girlfriend's mother in a fire last week.

TROY, Ill — A man was charged with murder in connection with the Troy, Illinois, house fire that left a 69-year-old woman dead.

Michael Sloan Jr. was charged with three counts of first-degree murder, attempted murder and other charges Tuesday in connection with the death of Susanne Tomlinson.

On Friday, surviving victim Courtney Tomlinson said she and Sloan got into an argument at her home in the 500 block of Wood Thrush Street in Troy, Illinois. 

Sloan had lived with her "off and on" for nearly two years, Courtney Tomlinson said.

A Tuesday press release from Madison County State's Attorney Thomas Haine mirrored Courtney Tomlinson's account of the deadly incident she provided to 5 On Your Side's Robert Townsend on Friday. 

The press release said Sloan tried to kill Susanne Tomlinson's daughter Courtney by restraining her with zip-ties, pouring gasoline on her and holding her at knifepoint. 

"He grabbed the gas can, opened up my bathroom door and threw it in my face," she said. "I couldn't see. I was rinsing out my eyes. I have chemical burns on my chest. He had the lighter lit, but he couldn't throw it on me for some reason. I was doused in gasoline."

When Courtney Tomlinson managed to get away, the release said Sloan then went into Susanne Tomlinson's home carrying a can of gasoline. 

When police arrived, the home went up in flames with Susanne Tomlinson still inside.

"He threw gas on her [Susanne Tomlinson] face," Courtney Tomlinson said Friday. "She couldn't see. I yelled, 'Are you OK?' He pushed her. She fell on the floor."

The release said Susanne Tomlinson died of smoke inhalation.

Credit: Courtney Tomlinson
A photo of Michael Sloan Jr. provided by Courtney Tomlinson.

Sloan was pulled from the fire and taken to a St. Louis area hospital for treatment.

"He set her on fire," Courtney Tomlinson said. "He tortured her, and then, he doused himself."

In all, Sloan was charged with three counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted first-degree murder, one count of aggravated arson and one count of aggravated unlawful restraint. 

The three counts of first-degree murder will be combined into one charge as the investigation continues.

Sloan's bond was set at $1 million. At last check, he was still in the hospital receiving treatment for severe burns.

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