OXFORD, Miss. (localmemphis.com) – In a surprise twist Thursday morning, the attorney for the man accused in the deadly shooting an Ole Miss student last month withdrew a scheduled bond hearing in Lafayette County court.
22-year-old Brandon Theesfeld is accused of killing 21-year-old Ally Kostial near Sardis Lake. Investigators said last month Theesfeld, a now-suspended University of Mississippi student, shot and killed Kostial near Buford Ridge, a popular hangout for students.
In court Thursday, attorney Tony Farese said after consulting with Theesfeld’s family and gaining new information, which was not specified, he was pulling the bond request. Farese then requested a psychological evaluation for Theesfeld at the Mississippi state hospital.
“It was our collective decision that it was in Brandon’s best interest to withdraw our request for a bond at this time,” Farese said. “We are entering a plea of not guilty,” Farese added moments later.
Lafayette County District Attorney Ben Creekmore spoke about the toll on Kostial’s family and friends.
“I know it’s just terrible and difficult for them, not only to deal with that kind of loss but then have to come and face this,” he said.
Even with a withdrawn bond hearing, Creekmore plans to take the murder case to the grand jury next week.
“The investigation, as far as I’m concerned, is still ongoing. It’s not completed,” Creekmore said.
After the court proceedings, a cousin of Ally Kostial addressed reporters.
“We pray for strength in the coming days and are thankful for the friends, neighbors, co-workers, and many of us who have supported us,” Kristi Kelley said.
“We will always support Ally and we will always be there for her,” Hannah Chauvin said.
Outside the courthouse Thursday, Kostial’s friends wore her favorite color pink in solidarity. They’re raising money to dedicate an Ole Miss yoga studio in her name and plan to hold a memorial in Kostial’s honor on campus in the coming weeks.
“We’ll have some counseling and support there as well offered and just let students know that, we are all here together and the Ole Miss family really is real,” Morgan Hull said.
Theesfeld is being held at an undisclosed location.
If the grand jury decides to indict, Creekmore said Theesfeld and his legal team would find out in the next week or so.