Atmore man guilty of manslaughter

Published 10:26 am Friday, April 11, 2014

By Stephanie Nelson
For The Advance

An Atmore man pleaded guilty to manslaughter this week in the 2011 beating death of 59-year-old Charles McPherson.

Escambia County District Attorney Steve Billy said that 24-year-old Derek Coleman was charged and later indicted in the case.

Derek Coleman, in his 2011 booking photo

Derek Coleman, in his 2011 booking photo

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Coleman was initially arrested after police found McPherson badly beaten and bleeding on Airport Road in Atmore. McPherson, who suffered severe head trauma, was able to give officers a brief statement before dying at a Pensacola, Fla., trauma unit, records show.

Coleman was sentenced to 20 years in prison and given a five-year split sentence, meaning he must serve five years in prison and five years of probation.

Since Coleman has been held in the case since his arrest, he will be given a credit of two-and-a-half years of time served.

“Based on the evidence, it was a fair plea for the state and the defense,” Billy said.