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Murder suspect: I should have fessed up to beating wife to death ‘a long time ago’

Posted at 12:38 PM, Oct 16, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-16 12:38:39-04

MERCER COUNTY, Ill — Ever since his wife Melissa’s death in October 2011, William “Pete” White has been a person of interest in the homicide investigation.

But now he’s a suspect after White was formally charged with first degree murder on Wednesday, Oct. 15  in Mercer County, Illinois. During his court hearing, prosecutors said White confessed to killing his wife to another inmate in August 2014.

Dressed in black and gray stripes with his wrists and ankles in shackles, a reporter asked him why he confessed after denying any wrongdoing for the last three years.

“It should have been done a long time ago,” White told WQAD.


The reporter also asked White if he regretted not admitting to his wife’s death earlier.

“Oh yeah,” he said.

The reporter then asked White if he had anything to say to Melissa White’s family in which he replied, “I’m sorry that there’s nothing I can do.”

“I’m sorry they misplaced their trust in me,” he added.


Melissa White had filed for an order of protection against her estranged husband shortly before she was found in her yard brutally beaten, with multiple skull fractures, by one of her young children.

White is in custody on two unrelated felony charges. With the addition of this new charge, the judge decided to hold White without bond in the Mercer County Jail.

White’s attorney waived a preliminary hearing on Wednesday, so White will be back in court on October 27th, 2014 at 1pm for a pre-trial conference. If found guilty, White could be sentenced between 20 years in prison to life.