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.
White had been pastor of the 14-member church since 2009.
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. White admitted he removed her clothes but does not remember if he abused the dead body to fulfill his fantasy.
White was released from prison in 2007 after nearly 12 years.
The state Corrections Department says White was denied parole several times while serving a sentence for manslaughter in the death of a Kalamazoo County woman.
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.