Brandon Theesfeld pleads guilty in shooting death of Ole Miss student

OXFORD, Miss. — Former Ole Miss student Brandon Theesfeld was charged with killing fellow student Ally Kostial in 2019. He was initially charged with capital murder but pled guilty to a lesser charge of first-degree murder.

FOX13 was in Lafayette County Court Friday as Theesfeld was sentenced to life in prison.

Attorneys for both the Kostial and Theesfeld families called it a sad day for both families, Theesfeld led into the courthouse in shackles and surrounded by deputies.

According to prosecutors, cell phone tracking put Theesfeld and Kostial together on the night of the murder in 2019. Prosecutors said she had just told him she was pregnant.

He thought it would ruin his life. So, he went back to Dallas to get his pistols.

Prosecutors said he even posted to social media that he was bringing his “babies” back to Oxford with a picture of the guns. Theesfeld defense attorney, Tony Farese, says drugs and alcohol played a part.

”We certainly do not believe that he kidnapped Ally we think this was a scenario that involved alcohol and drugs. Ally had been drinking all day and had used cocaine. I believe that without alcohol and drug use on Brandon’s behalf this never would have happened,” Farese said.

Prosecutors said Theesfeld shot Kostial 11 times and ballistics from the gun matched a 40 caliber Glock he owned. The day after the murder Theesfeld sent a messaged his family that he was a bad person and that he had always had bad thoughts and this was likely the end for him.

The judge wouldn’t allow audio recordings in the courtroom, but Theesfeld told Kostials family “Sorry for the pain I caused you. I wish I could take it back if I could fake it back. I hope you can find it in your hearts to forgive me.”

Kostials family didn’t want to talk but they did issue a victim impact statement, saying they hope Theesfeld thinks of Ally every time his cell door slams.

”I’d like to say this is a mixed day for Ally and everybody knows that Ally had a great impact on this community and that is what we would like for the community to remember and her family and friends,” Vic Haislip, an attorney for Kostial’s family said.

The plea deal allowed Theesefled to avoid the death penalty, but the judge sentenced him to life in prison.