Headlines News

Life without parole

McCaster pleads to intentional murder


News Staff Writer

An Atmore man, arrested nearly five years ago and charged with capital murder in the June 2013 strangulation death of an Atmore woman, avoided a possible death sentence by entering a guilty plea last week in Escambia County Circuit Court to a lesser charge.
Collis McCaster, 45, swapped a guilty plea to intentional murder in exchange for a sentence of life in prison without parole. He was arrested in 2014 and eventually confessed to choking Mildred Jackson Morris, 60, to death during a drug-fueled dispute.
The Atmore woman, who reportedly allowed McCaster — who was homeless — to stay in her Adams Street home for short periods, was found dead, lying on a couch with her hands bound behind her back, inside the home, which McCaster torched in an attempt to hide his crime.
He was eventually taken into custody in Conecuh County, where he was wanted on a felony probation violation warrant. Already a person of interest in the Morris death, he admitted to Atmore Police Department investigators that he killed Morris.
According to his confession, McCaster had been smoking Spice and purchased three rocks of crack cocaine for Morris. He told investigators that Morris smoked the rocks, then became angry and threw a beer can at him when he couldn’t produce more of the drug. He reacted by grabbing her around the neck and choking her to death.
According to a felony sentencing order approved by Judge Dave Jordan, McCaster will serve “mandatory imprisonment for life, or life without possibility of parole,” in the custody of state corrections officials. The life sentence is to run concurrently with two other sentences he is currently serving for felony convictions.