By Chris Edwards
WOODVILLE – A Tyler County man who was arrested out-of-state in August, while on the lam, was handed a life sentence last week.
Sidney Fletcher McCollum, a 55-year-old Warren man, was sentenced in the court of District Judge Delinda Gibbs-Walker. He was on the felony docket for multiple child rape charges, including aggravated sexual assault of a child; continuous sexual abuse of a child and sexual assault.
According to Tyler County’s District Attorney Lucas Babin, the investigation on McCollum, conducted by the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office, proved that he had a history of dating single mothers and abusing their young daughters.
McCollum, along with Amber Leann Carnley-McCollum, was arrested in August in in Sevierville, Tenn., during a traffic stop, after Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford had put out a wanted bulletin on asking for the public’s help in locating the duo.
Acording to Babin, although Amber McCollum was charged for participating in abuse of her child with Sidney McCollum, there were “potential weaknesses in the case,” which resulted in prosecutors dismissing her charges in exchange for a life sentence on Sidney. In addition to the life sentence, he also received sentences of 50 years and 20 years for two additional charges, which will run concurrently with the life sentence.
Babin said he believed justice was served. “It’s not every day you get a defendant to agree to a life sentence,” he said, “But I think he saw the handwriting on the wall.”
Babin thanked Weatherford, as well as TCSO investigator Chase Nalley, for their hard work on the case.
McCollum is currently in custody in Tyler County, awaiting transfer to a Texas Department of Criminal Justice facility.
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety Sex Offender Registry database, McCollum has a lifetime requirement to register as a sex offender with the county sheriff’s department in his county of residence, annually. His previous two convictions on indecency with a child charges stem from 1998, when he was sentenced to 10 years’ probation on the charges.