Parents of suspect charged with murder in Ole Miss student’s death expected to testify at bond hearing

Friends seek to name yoga studio for slain Ole Miss student

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - It’s been nearly a month since Ole Miss student Ally Kostial was found shot to death near Sardis Lake. Fellow student Brandon Theesfeld is charged with her murder.

There’s a new push by Kostial’s friends to pay tribute to her on campus.

The students said they want Ally to continue to inspire and touch the lives of those at Ole Miss. As she is remembered, her accused killer will be in a Lafayette Co courtroom next week asking for bond.

“As anyone can imagine, losing a best friend is really hard but that’s kind of why we want to do this memorial before we graduate this May,” said Hannah Chauvin.

Chauvin is one of many friends of Ally Kostial’s behind a new online fundraiser seeking money to name a new yoga studio on the Oxford campus for their friend, who prosecutors believe was murdered at the hands of fellow Ole Miss student Brandon Theesfeld.

“It’s a terrible tragedy to two families, and we are trying to be as respectful as possible to all concerned,” said Tony Farese.

Farese, along with his cousin Steve Farese and Oxford attorney Swayze Alford make up Theesfeld’s defense team, hired by the family of the Fort Worth, Texas student who’s remained jailed since his arrest in July.

“He’s trying to remain positive,” said Farese, “He’s been very positive and upbeat. We’ve had many meetings with him. He’s been very candid with us about the facts of the case.”

On Thursday August 22, Farese and his defense team will ask a Lafayette County judge to set a bond in the case. Prosecutors confirmed Friday they’ll ask Theesfeld be held without bond and present evidence. Farese said character witnesses for Theesfeld will take the stand, like his parents. His medical history could also be discussed. Farese said his criminal record is clean.

“We anticipate all four parents and step-parents being present on Thursday to testify on Brandon’s behalf,” Farese said.

Lafayette County investigators have released few details regarding the homicide, but we know Kostial was found shot multiple times near Sardis Lake. The 21 year old was last seen alive on surveillance video leaving a bar on the Oxford square hours before her death.

Authorities have not detailed the relationship between Theesfeld and Kostial, but friends have described it to WMC Action News 5 as complicated.

“They knew each other, and I think you will learn a lot more on Thursday when testimony is revealed,” said Farese.

Prosecutors said they aren’t sure at this point whether the Kostial family who is from the St Louis area will be at Thursday morning’s hearing.

Farese tells WMC Action News 5 Brandon Theesfeld’s sister is also a student at Ole Miss, but she has returned to Texas given the attention over the case.

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