BROOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. 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.

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