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Man charged with murder of Ole Miss student from St. Louis expected to plead guilty

A grand jury indictment accused Theesfeld of kidnapping Kostial and then later shooting and killing her. He's expected to plead guilty to first-degree murder Friday

OXFORD, Miss — The man charged with murder in the shooting death of an Ole Miss student from St. Louis is expected to plead guilty Friday.

In September of 2019, Brandon Theesfeld pleaded not guilty to capital murder for the death of Alexandria "Ally" Kostial months earlier. According to NBC affiliate WMC in Memphis, Tennessee, Lafayette County District Attorney Ben Creekmore confirmed that a plea hearing was scheduled for Friday.

Capital murder is punishable by the death penalty or life in prison without parole. Theesfeld is expected to plead guilty in exchange for the charge being lowered to first-degree murder. The plea could result in a lighter sentence, including a chance at release after he turns 65.

The two were classmates at Ole Miss, and a close friend of Kostial confirmed to 5 On Your Side that they had an on-again, off-again relationship that was "sometimes troubled."

A grand jury indictment accused Theesfeld of kidnapping Kostial and then later shooting and killing her. Her body was found on July 20, 2019, near a lake about 30 minutes from her university's campus in Oxford, Mississippi.

NBC-Affiliate WLBT reported Kostial was seen in city surveillance video stopping at the door of a bar on the square, a popular nightlife location not far from campus. Later on, she and Theesfeld were on a surveillance video at a gas station not far from where her body would be found hours later.

Kostial graduated from Lindbergh High School in 2016. Ally’s father Keith said she had been attending summer school and teaching fitness classes at the University of Mississippi. 

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