Man convicted in Rebekah Gay case found dead in prison - CBS 5 - KPHO

Man convicted in Rebekah Gay case found dead in prison

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John D. White John D. White
Rebekah Gay Rebekah Gay
IONIA COUNTY, Mich. (WNEM) -

Michigan Department of Corrections authorities say John D. White, the man who was convicted in connection to the bludgeoning and strangling of 24-year-old Rebekah Gay, has been found dead inside his prison cell.

MDOC spokesman Russ Marlan confirmed to WNEM.com that White was found dead after hanging himself. White was only four months into a 56-year prison term after being sentenced in April after pleading guilty to second-degree murder charges in Gay's death.

Police said White knew Gay and her family, and lived just a few doors down from her. He would often watch her son while she was at work. Police said that on Oct. 31, 2012, White struck Gay over the head with a mallet until she passed out, and he then tied a zip-tie around her neck until she stopped breathing.

White put her body and the towels he used to clean up the blood inside a large garbage bag before taking her body to a ditch at the corner of Packard and Coldwater. After White allegedly killed Gay, he dressed Gay's son in his Halloween costume before the boy's biological father picked him up.

Authorities said that White had not been cooperative during the investigation and that he'd lied to police. Isabella County Sheriff Leo Mioduszewski said a gold chain necklace of Gay's was found in White's pickup truck.

White is an ex-convict who settled outside Mt. Pleasant and became pastor of a tiny church, Christ Community Fellowship. He confessed to killing Gay as part of a sexual fantasy.

The state Corrections Department says White was denied parole several times while serving a sentence for manslaughter in the death of a Kalamazoo County woman. He was released from prison in 2007 after nearly 12 years. In the early 1980s, White was accused of choking and stabbing a 17-year-old girl in Battle Creek. Marlan says White was sentenced to at least five years in prison but was granted probation and an early release.

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