OXFORD • Citing new evidence, the attorneys for the man accused of killing a University of Mississippi coed last month withdrew their request for a bond hearing Thursday morning and asked for a psychiatric examination.
“We obtained new information yesterday,” said lead defense attorney Tony Farese. “We reviewed the information with our client and concluded it is in the best interest of our client to withdraw the request for bond at this time.
“We are not in a position to comment on (what type of information was discovered).”
Brandon Theesfeld, 22, of Fort Worth, Texas, a now-suspended Ole Miss business student, has been charged with the murder of fellow 21-year-old student Alexandria “Ally” Kostial. Her body was discovered by a Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department deputy on the morning of July 20 during a routine patrol at Buford’s Ridge. A preliminary autopsy report says she died of gunshot wounds.
Theesfeld, who was in some sort of relationship with Kostial, was arrested days later. He has remained in the Lafayette County Detention Center without bond ever since.
Farese and his cousin and partner in law, Steve Farese, Sr., scheduled Thursday’s bond hearing last week. Instead of asking for a bond to be set, Farese asked the court to order a mental evaluation of Theesfeld to be conducted at the state hospital at Whitfield. District Attorney Ben Creekmore agreed with the request.
“Since it is agreed upon, the defendant will be sent to the state hospital for a psychological exam whenever space is available,” said Circuit Court Judge Andrew Howorth. “As you know, that can be tricky and take some time.”
Creekmore said the mental evaluation would not affect his office moving forward with charges against Theesfeld.
“The grand jury meets next week and we expect to present the case,” Creekmore said. “They will decide what charges are appropriate.
“The grand jury and the psych evaluation are completely separate processes. The investigation is still ongoing. Hopefully we will have enough (evidence) to present to the grand jury.”
With the withdrawal of the bond request, Theesfeld will remain in the custody of the Lafayette County Detention Center until the matter is resolved, Creekmore said.
Farese noted that they retain the right to ask for bond at a later date, once they sort through the new information and after the mental evaluation.
Officials refused to speculate on how long it might take for space to open up at the state hospital for Theesfeld. The actual evaluation could last anywhere from a couple of days to more than a week, Creekmore said.
Authorities have not released details about motives or the connection between Kostial and Theesfeld while the investigation is ongoing, but last month, one of Kostial’s friends posted on Twitter that “he harassed her for years.” In a follow-up tweet, she declined to address media outlets.