MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. (WOOD) - A Mount Pleasant pastor has pleaded guilty to killing 24-year-old mother Rebekah Gay as her son slept in the other room.
John Douglas White, 55, pleaded guilty Thursday in the Isabella County Trial Court to second-degree murder as a habitual third offender.
White admitted to beating his neighbor Rebekah Gay over the head with a rubber mallet and then strangling her with a zip tie in the early hours of Oct. 31, 2012, according to court documents.
White was soon arrested and told police he had been fantasizing for about two weeks about killing Gay and having sex with her dead body, the documents show.
Gay's naked body was found the next day in a wooded ditch not far from the mobile home park where she and White lived.
Her 3-year-old son, who slept in another room of the mobile home while his mother was murdered, was not hurt.
Under a plea agreement, White's minimum sentence will be no less than 45.8 years in prison, according to a release from the Isabella County Prosecutor's Office. The agreement does allow the court to impose a longer sentence.
Official sentencing proceedings are set for April 18. But under the terms outlined in the plea agreement, it's likely the 55-year-old White will spend the rest of his life in prison.
White previously pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in 1995 the death of Vicky Sue Wall of Comstock Township, with whom he had been having an affair. He was released from prison in 2007.
He was also convicted of assault with intent to murder in 1981 after stabbing then-17-year-old Theresa Etherton 15 times in the basement of his Battle Creek home. He was later appealed the conviction and was released in July 1983.
In 2009, White became the pastor at Christ Community Fellowship Church in Mount Pleasant.
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