ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) _ A construction worker who allegedly told a hospital worker he slashed his 4-year-old son's throat to ''sacrifice'' the child will stand trial on a first-degree murder charge, a judge ruled.

Richard A. Wells, 36, was bound over for trial after a hearing Thursday conducted under heavy security because death threats against Wells were phoned to authorities after Christopher Wells was slashed to death.

Wells is being held on $75,000 bond at the Buchanan County jail.Buchanan County Circuit Judge Donald E. Parker scheduled an April 10 arraignment.

Debra Brown, an emergency room secretary at Heartland Hospital West, testified that a man carrying a bleeding boy arrived at the hospital on March 17. Mrs. Brown said she asked Wells how his son was injured and Wells told her that he cut the boy's throat.

''He turned to me and said, 'I sacrificed Christopher tonight,' '' she said.

Dr. York Silliman, the Buchanan County medical examiner, testified that an autopsy revealed the boy apparently bled to death after his jugular vein was slashed.

Buchanan County Sheriff Mickey Gill said anonymous death threats were telephoned to his office shortly after the boy died.