Brandon Theesfeld will spend the rest of his life in prison for the July 2019 murder of Ole Miss student Alexandria “Ally” Kostial.
After accepting a plea deal earlier this week, Theesfeld, 24, formally pled guilty to a first-degree murder charge—reduced from the original capital murder charge—in a Lafayette County Court Friday afternoon.
Kostial, a St. Louis native, was shot multiple times and her body was found by Lafayette County deputies on July 20, 2019, at a picnic table near Sardis Lake. During the sentencing hearing, Theesfeld, also a student at the time, admitted to murdering Kostial and details surrounding the days leading up to her death were revealed.
Theesfeld and Kostial were romantically involved, but following an inconclusive pregnancy test in April 2019, he refused to meet her in person over the next several months. In a detailed account of the hearing, Therese Apel with Darkhorse Press reports that Theesfeld’s internet search history showed that he began looking up abortion pills and other services.
Defense Attorney Tony Farese later shared with Apel and other media members at the hearing that Kosital was not pregnant.
It wasn’t until July, following a trip to his home in Dallas to meet with his father, that Theesfeld agreed to meet Kosital. Returning from the trip, the murderer posted a picture of the eventual murder weapon with the caption “bringing my baby back home.” Apel further explains that Theesfeld began researching ammunition, silencers and even “how Ted Bundy lured his victims to death.”
The night of the murder, security footage showed Theesfeld’s truck heading toward Kostial’s home several hours before she was murdered with evidence placing both of their phones at Sardis Lake at the time of the shooting.
After dodging law enforcement for several days, Theesfeld was eventually arrested in Memphis. During the investigation, authorities found a letter written by Theesfeld that was intended for his parents. In the letter, he wrote “I’m not a good person” and expressed that he knew he’d be caught.
Apel reports that a statement written by Kostial’s family was read to the courtroom by Assistant DA Mickey Mallette.
“I hope every time your cell door slams shut, you’re reminded of the beautiful life you took from all of us,” the statement said.
Theesfeld read a statement of his own asking for forgiveness before he was taken out of the courtroom.
By accepting a plea deal on the lesser charge of first degree murder, the possibility of the death penalty was taken away.