The preliminary examination for John Douglas White, 55, was waived Tuesday following charges for the murder of Rebekah Jane Gay in November.
Isabella County Prosecutor Risa Scully said White will have an examination Jan. 24 at 9 a.m. The preliminary examination was originally scheduled for 8:15 a.m. Thursday before Judge William Rush.
However, Isabella County Sheriff Leo Mioduszewski was not surprised the previous examination was waived.
“It’s not uncommon to see the preliminary examination waived,” Mioduszewski said. “It’s a decision between the defendant and the defense attorney.”
Now it is possible a pretrial conference can be set up, where the defense attorney can meet with the prosecutor and determine a plea bargain or whether to go to trial, Mioduszewski said.
White allegedly murdered Gay on Oct. 31 in her Broomfield Township mobile home, 3303 S. Coldwater Road. A self-described pastor, White was engaged to Gay’s mother and often watched Gay’s three-year old son.
White was arraigned in the Isabella County Trial Court on charges of open murder, first-degree and pre-meditated murder without bond.
According to the Associated Press, White has two prior convictions, one for manslaughter in Kalamazoo County and another for attacking a young woman in Calhoun County. He was released in 2008.