BROOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) -- A central Michigan pastor accused of beating and strangling a neighbor to fulfill a sexual fantasy was engaged to the victim's mother.
Donna Houghton, a longtime member of Christ Community Fellowship, near Mount Pleasant, says John D. White knew his victim, Rebekah Gay, and regularly babysat her 3-year-old son while she worked.
Houghton says White had planned to marry Gay's mother. He was arraigned Thursday on first-degree murder charges.
White told investigators he repeatedly struck Gay's head with a mallet then strangled her with a zip tie at her mobile home. He said he stripped her but does not remember if he carried out his fantasy of having sex with Gay's dead body.
Houghton says White, an ex-convict, had been pastor of the 14-member church since 2009.