- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 16, 2014

ROMEO, Mich. (AP) - A 32-year-old man will stand trial in the killing of a 14-year-old girl as she walked her dog along a northern Macomb County recreation trail.

Romeo District Judge Denis LeDuc on Tuesday determined there was enough evidence to move the case against James VanCallis forward.

VanCallis is charged with first-degree murder and assault with intent to rape.

Authorities say he hit April Millsap with a motorcycle helmet and stomped on her in Armada near the popular trail on July 24. They say the man from St. Clair County’s Wales Township was planning to rape her but a witness interrupted him.

Witnesses testified Monday in VanCallis’ preliminary examination that they saw him on the trail near Millsap the day she was killed.

Former live-in girlfriend Crystal Stadler testified Tuesday that she saw VanCallis cleaning his shoes with sanitizer early in the morning on July 25. She said he told her to lie to investigators about the type of shoes he was wearing the day before.

“He said he messed up and he needs me to stand by his side,” Stadler testified. The couple has a 3-year-old son.

VanCallis will be arraigned Dec. 29 in circuit court.

He was sentenced last month to a year in jail in a separate drug case. He and his father earlier pleaded guilty to manufacturing marijuana.

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