Pastor and ex-convict John Douglas White’s fate will not be determined until after a psychiatric exam takes place regarding the murder of 24-year-old Rebekah Gay.
Court administrator Lance Dexter told the Associated Press that White’s scheduled hearing in Isabella County on Nov. 8 was postponed while he undergoes a competency evaluation to determine his mental state, as recommended by Isabella County Prosecutor Risa Scully.
Isabella County Sheriff Leo Mioduszewski said delays in these types of cases are typical.
“In this country, you can’t be charged criminally if you don’t know what you did was wrong,” he said. “It’s not unusual at all.”
Until the examination takes place, White, 55, will continue to be held at the Isabella County Jail, Mioduszewski said. He will be arraigned once the psychiatric evaluation is determined.
On Oct. 31, White allegedly murdered Gay in her home, 3303 S. Coldwater Road, in Broomfield Valley Mobile Home Park, where the two were neighbors, police said. White reportedly bludgeoned Gay’s head with a rubber mallet and strangled her with a plastic zip-tie.
After spending the following morning interviewing Gay’s friends and family, police said they approached White and found blood in his mobile home and a piece of Gay’s jewelry with blood on it in the bed of his pickup truck.
White confessed to the murder, blaming it on a two-week sexual fantasy he had to kill Gay and have sex with her dead body. White told police the murder was fueled by pornographic videos and said he did not remember carrying out his fantasy because he drank four or five beers before going to Gay’s home, police say.
Gay’s body was found Nov. 1 in a stand of pine trees off Coldwater Road, and the mallet and bloody towels used were discovered off Pickard Road near Woodruff Road. Gay’s cell phone was found in a dumpster in her and White’s mobile home park.
White was arraigned the same day in Isabella County Trial Court on charges of open murder and first-degree, pre-mediated murder and ordered jail time without bond.
White was engaged to Gay’s mother and regularly watched Gay’s three-year-old son while she was at work.
After murdering Gay, Mioduszewski said White returned to her home to help her son get ready for Halloween and dropped him off at his father’s home.
White has convictions for manslaughter in Kalamazoo County and attacking a young woman in Calhoun County, but was released from jail in 2007, the AP reported.