Man charged in death of Ole Miss student from St. Louis area requests psychiatric evaluation

Man charged in death of Ole Miss student from St. Louis area requests psychiatric evaluation

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Updated at 9:14 a.m. with information from the court hearing

Lawyers for a man charged with the killing of an Ole Miss college student from the St. Louis area withdrew their motion for a bond hearing Thursday, instead requesting the judge grant the 22-year-old a psychiatric evaluation.

The bail hearing for Brandon A. Theesfeld was scheduled for 9 a.m. Thursday in a Mississippi courtroom. He was charged in the shooting death of Lindbergh High graduate Ally Kostial, 21. Her parents, who live in Sunset Hills, attended the hearing along with about a half-dozen of Kostial's friends. Theesfeld's father also attended. The hearing lasted about five minutes.

Theesfeld's attorney, Tony Farese, told the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal that he was going to ask the court for a "reasonable bond," saying he wanted Theesfeld to be out of jail "to assist us in the preparation of the defense of his case."

But Thursday, Farese told Judge Andrew Howorth that "after obtaining some new information, and consulting with the defendant and his family," he was withdrawing his motion for a bond hearing and asking that the court grant Theesfeld a psychiatric evaluation. Prosecutors did not oppose the motion, and the judge said Theesfeld would be taken to the state hospital for the evaluation.

"He will be sent to the state hospital for a psychiatric evaluation whenever there is space available, which as you all know is a...tricky proposition," Howorth said, pausing and sighing between his words. 

Kostial’s body was found July 20 near a lake about 30 miles from the Ole Miss university’s campus in Oxford. Kostial was a student at Ole Miss, majoring in marketing. Theesfeld, also a student at the university, has since been suspended.

Following Thursday's hearing, Kristi Kelley, a cousin of Kostial’s, read the following statement on behalf of the Kostial family, according to the Oxford Eagle:

“Ally’s family is deeply grateful for the prudent work accomplished by the Memphis Police, the Lafayette County Sheriff’s office, the Lafayette County Coroner’s office, the Ole Miss community and the many others who worked tirelessly over the past few weeks on this case,” Kelly said. “Our hearts go out to those touched by Ally’s positive spirit and passion for life who are now feeling sorrow. We pray for strength in the coming days and are thankful for the friends, neighbors, coworkers and many others who have supported us.”

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