Friends of Rebekah Gay start petition against repeat offenders - WNEM TV 5

Friends of Rebekah Gay start petition against repeat offenders

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John D. White John D. White

Attorneys in the John D. White murder case met Thursday and ordered White to undergo a psychological and criminal evaluation.

Meanwhile, neighbors of Rebekah Gay, the young Mt. Pleasant mother he's accused of killing, are taking steps to try to keep others safe from repeat offenders.

"Just devastating that I didn't read this for my family, to let someone around like that," said an emotional Kelvin Patterson.

He and his fiance Michelle Earl are still in shock after learning their neighbor, John White, is charged with murdering their friend, the 24-year-old Gay.

"I had him in my house I trusted him with my children. This could have been anybody. I can't even imagine what Rebekah's family has been through," commented Michelle Earl.

They said if they had known the facts of White's past, a manslaughter conviction in a woman's death and another conviction where he was accused of choking and stabbing a teenage girl,  their relationship with the man they knew as a pastor would have been much different.

"He never would have been allowed around my children, ever," said Earl.

After attending Gay's funeral Wednesday, they started an online petition hoping to get a state registry formed where people can go to find out about violent criminals in their area.

"Similar to the sex offender list. Anybody that is convicted of violent crimes, murders, beatings, that kind of thing that they be on a list so people are aware of it," Earl said.

Nearly 300 people have already signed supporting the idea and they are hoping for hundreds more.

"If this can save even one person, then it's worth it," Earl said.

In a preliminary hearing Wednesday, the prosecuting attorney spoke with the public defender representing John White to determine how they will more forward with the case against him.

A woman with ties to the church White attended told TV5's Kristin Moore, if he's responsible for Rebekah Gay's death, she hopes the murder charges stick and he serves the full sentence to keep him from hurting another woman.

Copyright 2012 WNEM (Meredith Corp.) All right reserved.

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