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Preliminary hearing underway for man accused in John Dahlinger murder

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A West Michigan woman came face-to-face Thursday with the man accused of murdering her fiance.

Danyell Thomas and Dijana Kilic are both facing charges in the grisly murder of John Dahlinger.

He was found beaten and shot to death in his Grand Rapids home in October.

Kilic is already heading to trial for conspiracy to commit armed robbery.

On Thursday, a judge began hearing testimony to determine whether there is enough evidence to send Thomas to trial on five felonies, including murder.

At Thursday's preliminary hearing, Dahlinger's fiance took the stand.

Melanie Yanchuk was the first person to discover Dahlinger's body on October 16.

She described coming home from work, only to find lights on and items in the house out of place, including the vacuum cleaner in the bathtub.

When she came upstairs, she found Dahlinger lying in a pool of blood with a towel over his face.

"I pulled it halfway across his face and I noticed he was extremely badly beaten; his skull...blood was trying to coagulate," she testified in court.

According to court documents, 36-year-old Danyell Thomas brought a handgun to Dahlinger's home planning to rob him.

Documents also show nine days after Dahlinger's murder, police found a bag in an Allegan County field, which contained a box of ammunition, of the same caliber found at the scene; and a cellphone that showed Dahlinger had called the female suspect just before his death.

The judge has not made a decision about a trial at this time.

Thomas' preliminary hearing will continue next month.