Michigan Pastor Charged in Woman's Murder Has Criminal History

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) -- A central Michigan church pastor accused of beating and strangling a young woman spent years in prison and has a record of violence.
The state Corrections Department says John D. White was denied parole several times while serving a sentence for manslaughter in the death of a Kalamazoo County woman. He was released from prison in 2007 after nearly 12 years.
In the early 1980s, White was accused of choking and stabbing a 17-year-old girl in Battle Creek. Prisons spokesman Russ Marlan says White was sentenced to at least five years in prison but got probation after an appeal.
White is pastor of Christ Community Fellowship, a tiny congregation west of Mount Pleasant. He's charged with first-degree murder in the death of Rebekah Gay.


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  • by Elaine Location: Location on Nov 7, 2012 at 07:37 AM
    I have learned just because someone is in a trusted position; you still should not trust that person until they have earned your trust. People are not as athen seem. I also agree with Sylvia; when people have influence over others like a pastor there should be criminal background checks.
  • by Courtney Location: Location on Nov 5, 2012 at 06:10 AM
    @Jen, yes let's blame the prison system. Obviously they were taunting him to wait 5 years and then murder someone else. Prison is what you make of it. Prison doesn't change people either way. The person has to be willing to step up and change themselves.
  • by kevindwaynedavis of pmp pdu Location: phoenix on Nov 2, 2012 at 05:38 PM
    who could ever thought that a man that was supposed to be spreading good news are capable of doing crimes ... goes to show that this world are becoming so dangerous for all..
  • by Sylvia Location: WA on Nov 2, 2012 at 11:40 AM
    Why are men and women of the church; pastors, priests, nuns, etc, not given thorough background checks prior to being allowed to have such a position where they come into contact with all sorts of people. I have a misdemeanor on my record right now stemming from something I never did do but I can't get a job as a CNA because of it. WHy no background checks for people who appear to have mor and more influence on others?
  • by Jen Location: Williamston on Nov 2, 2012 at 11:01 AM
    What a sick, sick man. So sad that he was ever let out of prison so he could murder this young woman down the line. I can't believe it wasn't obvious that he was a habitual offender of this type and was not going to stop. It's beyond tragic that this woman's family will now have to pay for gross shortcomings within our prison system. My most heartfelt condolences to the family, especially this poor woman's mother, in their time of intemse and unimaginable grief.
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