Crime

34-Year-Old Man Beats, Rapes 14-Year-Old Girl, Prosecutors Say

| by Zara Zhi
April Millsap (left), James D. VanCallis (right)April Millsap (left), James D. VanCallis (right)

A 34-year-old biker allegedly beat a 14-year-old girl in the head with his motorcycle helmet, then tried to rape her, until stomping the teen to death. His trial recently began, with jury selection starting on Jan. 14.

April Millsap, 14, disappeared along the Macomb Orchard Trail in Armada, Michigan, in July 2014 before her partially-clothed body was discovered in the nearby woods.

Prosecutors said James D. VanCallis, 34, attacked Millsap along the trail, struck her on the head with his helmet, lugged her into the woods, and then murdered her as part of a failed rape attempt, the Daily Mail reports.

Assistant Prosecutor William Dailey told a jury that “she was literally beat and stomped to death," according to the Daily Mail. He added that Millsap was discovered with her clothes “literally ripped off her.”

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Milsap had been walking her dog Penny along the path on the night of her murder, according to the October 2014 indictment hearing.

Witnesses reported seeing her speaking to a man on a motorcycle who they identified as VanCallis, before continuing up the walkway.

Millsap then wrote a text message to her boyfriend which read, “I nearly got kidnapped OMFG” right before going missing.

During trial, Jennifer Millsap, the girl’s mother, said she sent text messages to her daughter on the day she was murdered, and after two hours with no reply, she called and left a voicemail. She eventually contacted the teen’s boyfriend, who informed her about the text.

April’s body was found by joggers further up the trail who had been alerted by her dog, which was standing watch over her and barking.

Prosecutors said that a fitness app on the 14-year-old's phone had been tracing her walk via GPS when she was killed.

Investigators also said surveillance footage captured VanCallis' parked motorcycle.

VanCallis’ defense attorney Azhar Sheikh said his client was indicted for the crime before any forensic or DNA evidence connected him to the scene.

The 34-year-old biker is charged with first-degree murder, felony murder, kidnapping and assault with intent to commit penetration.

He has pleaded not guilty to all counts, according to Daily Mail. Vancallis’ trial is anticipated to continue for several weeks.

Sources: Daily Mail, Detroit Free Press / Photo credit: Facebook, Macomb County Jail via Daily Mail