MGM Grand Casino

Photo: Eric Seals/Detroit Free Press/MCT/Sipa USA

Man Gets 17-30 Years For Killing Girlfriend At MGM Grand Detroit

April 17, 2019 - 11:34 am

DETROIT (WWJ) - A St. Clair Shores man who stabbed his girlfriend, bit off her nose and left her lifeless body in a hotel room at the MGM Grand Casino in Detroit has been sentenced to prison.

Daniel Michalak on Wednesday was sentenced to serve between 17 and 30 years in prison after pleading no contest to charges of assault with intent to murder and assault with intent to maim in the death of 27-year-old Tia Vellucci, of Davison. 

Before hearing his sentence, Michalak apologized to Vellucci's family for the pain he caused.

"I cannot begin to explain what happened that awful day and will live with the grief for the rest of my life," he said. "I loved Tia with my entire heart and wish there was a way to take all of this back. Once again, I am sorry to everyone that has been affected from this tragedy."

Police found Michalak, 33, outside of the hotel last May 29, naked and "acting hysterically," saying he killed his girlfriend with his "bare hands." Police then located Vellucci's body in room 408. She suffered eight stab wounds to the neck and back of her head, and the tip of her nose had been bitten off her face. 

Vellucci's family says the couple had a history of domestic violence throughout their eight-year relationship. The pair was reportedly using drugs the day of the incident. 

"Well, we would have liked a lot more. But what can we do? You know, it's the way the justice system turns," Vellucci's grandmother Maureen Iman, of Lapeer, told WWJ's Vickie Thomas. "We couldn't get him for murder so I guess this is the best thing. Hopefully he won't come out."

Michalak, who was facing a possible life sentence, received 12-20 years on the assault with intent to murder charge and 5-10 years on the assault with intent to maim charge, to be served consecutively. He received credit for 323 days served.