- Associated Press - Thursday, October 16, 2014

ALEDO, Ill. (AP) - A 46-year-old Mercer County man has been charged in the death of his estranged wife after police say he confessed to the October 2011 slaying.

William “Pete” White Jr. was formally arraigned and charged Wednesday with first-degree murder. He has been considered a person of interest since 39-year-old Melissa White of Viola was found unconscious in her backyard and later died from skull fractures. She had filed a restraining order against him shortly before her death.

Police say White confessed to another jail inmate that he killed his estranged wife while he was awaiting trial on unrelated charges.

White is currently being held without bond at the Mercer County Jail. A pretrial conference is set for later this month.

The public defender representing White declined to comment Thursday.

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