Former Ole Miss student to plead guilty in 2019 killing of classmate
Published 2:56 pm Tuesday, August 24, 2021
A former Ole Miss student who is facing a capital murder charge for allegedly killing classmate Alexandria “Ally” Kostial is set to accept a change in plea to guilty of murder in the first degree.
Attorney Tony Farese, who represents Brandon Theesfeld, informed the EAGLE of the change in agreement between his client and the State of Mississippi. The hearing is scheduled to take place at the Lafayette County Courthouse at 10 a.m. on Friday, according to court officials.
“We negotiated a plea,” Farese said. “Mr. (Swayze) Alford and I worked really hard on this case and we were able to reach this agreement with the State of Mississippi. The District Attorney’s office has worked diligently in representing the (Kostial family) in this matter, as well.”
The EAGLE obtained a copy of the order, confirming the change of plea hearing with Judge Kelly Luther presiding.
On the morning of July 20, 2019, Kostial’s body was found by deputies with the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department while on routine patrol in Harmontown near the Buford Ridge area. Two days later, Theesfeld was arrested by officers with the LCSD and Memphis Police Department at a gas station in South Memphis.
On July 23, 2019, Theesfeld made his first court appearance and was formally charged with killing Kostial. In August of that year, a Lafayette County Grand Jury indicted Theesfeld with Capital Murder.
A preliminary autopsy report was released the following day, revealing Kostial died from “multiple gunshot wounds.”
The case has been at a standstill since with requests for a psychiatric evaluation made by Farese in 2019. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, trial dates were delayed in Theesfeld’s case.
Under state law, with the change in plea to a first degree murder charge from capital murder, the death penalty and life in prison without the possibility of parole is removed. Though, the mandatory sentence for a conviction of first degree murder is life in prison.
Theesfeld has the ability to petition for a conditional release after he turns 65 and has served 15 years of his sentence.