MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. — The killer of a 24-year-old-mother has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder as an habitual third offender.
John Douglas White, 55, pleaded guilty Thursday, admitting that he beat and strangled his neighbor while her three-year son slept in the next room.
Rebekah Gay was beaten and strangled October 31, 2012. Her body was later found in a ditch near her home in Mount Pleasant.
White was a pastor of a small church and has a lengthy criminal past, with ties to West Michigan that include serving 12 years in prison for involuntary manslaughter.
White will be sentenced to no less than 45 years, but the court can impose a longer minimum sentence. Sentencing is set for April 18.