ST. LOUIS – The two-year-old murder of former Lindbergh High School student Ally Kostial appears to be solved. A plea deal is expected Friday in the murder of a 21-year-old, who was entering her junior year at Ole Miss.
The murder case captivated people from St. Louis, where Ally’s from, to Lafayette County, Mississippi where she studied business. After seemingly no movement in court because of COVID, now there’s a guilty plea coming, from her former classmate Brandon Theesfeld.
Theesfeld’s lawyer Tony Farese said, “It’s been approved by the Kostial family. The charge of capital murder for which Brandon was indicted will be reduced to that of first degree or simple murder.”
Theesfeld will be spared the death penalty in the plea deal. He’ll now face a life sentence, but does have the chance for release.
Farese added, “What’s available to him is not parole, it’s called conditional release. After serving 15 years and if you attain the age of 65 you may petition the sentencing court for release.”
Ally Kostial was about to enter her third year at the University’s business school. Pictures of her in 2016, show her next to suspect Theesfeld at an Ole Miss sorority party.
Kostial was found dead in July 2019 near a Mississippi lake about 20 miles from campus. Police evidence included surveillance video of Theesfeld and Kostial together before the murder, at a market near the crime scene.
Police and federal agents later tracked Theesfeld to a Memphis gas station, about an hour drive north. Officers swarmed the parking lot outside and sources said they’d found blood on his clothing and a gun in his truck.
Theesfeld pleaded not guilty back then. We asked his attorney what’s changed today.
Farese responded, “We’ve obtained full discovery. We’ve worked very, very hard in investigating possible defenses available to Brandon and then we were able to obtain a favorable plea agreement based on the facts in this case.”
Ally Kostial’s father posted on Facebook last month, near the time of the two-year anniversary of his daughter’s death, “We do not anticipate any resolution through the court system for months. This might answer any questions regarding the status. We’ve appreciated all your thoughts and prayers.”
We reached Brandon Theesfeld’s father by phone this evening, who in the past has said his son is innocent and to please reserve judgment. Tonight he said, “leave me and my family alone.”