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Man accused of killing Ole Miss student Ally Kostial pleads not guilty to murder

Updated: Sep. 30, 2019 at 2:15 PM CDT
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OXFORD, Miss. (WMC) - Brandon Theesfeld entered a not guilty plea in a Lafayette County courtroom this afternoon in connection to the murder of Ole Miss student Ally Kostial earlier this year. Prosecutors say he kidnapped the student and then killed her.

Brandon Theesfeld, appeared in court Monday afternoon for arraignment. The 22-year-old former Ole Miss student was almost finished with his sophomore year before the incident with Kostial.

Theesfeld did not answer questions from reporters Monday as he was led into the courthouse to face a judge where his attorney Tony Farese entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.

He was indicted last month on a capital murder charge which carries a penalty of death or life in prison.

Prosecutors have never detailed a motive or relationship between the two, but friends say they had known each other for years and have called their relationship complicated.

The 21-year-old victim was reported to have been home by midnight before the night the incident occurred, but authorities close to the case say she left again at some point.

She was also seen on surveillance video near Oxford Square.

A Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department deputy found Kostial’s body shot eight times near Sardis Lake in July a few days after the news broke.

In August Theesfeld’s defense team asked for a bond hearing but changed their request after a meeting with prosecutors, instead telling a judge they wanted a mental evaluation for their client at the state’s hospital near Jackson.

Attorney Tony Farese declined to answer any questions Monday about the case or the status of the mental evaluation for his client.

Kostial’s family attended the arraignment, but did not speak with reporters afterward.

Theesfeld’s next court date has not been set.

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