Guilty plea entered in 2019 Bogue Chitto murder case — Man sentenced to life plus 5 years

Published 11:21 am Thursday, April 4, 2024

A Bogue Chitto man has pleaded guilty to capital murder in the 2019 death of a missing Bogue Chitto woman.

Dianne Richardson McMorris, age 60, was reported missing by her family in August 2019 from her home on Pecan Lane. The family contacted the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office after hearing about a body found the previous weekend in Caseyville that was as yet unidentified. McMorris’ 2003 Ford Focus was also reported missing.

A few days later, deputies found the car parked at a business on Hwy. 550 and arrested a “person of interest” on a Mississippi Department of Corrections warrant.

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The body was later identified as McMorris, who was laid to rest in September.

The “person of interest,” Dan White, also of Pecan Lane, was charged with first-degree murder, burglary of an occupied dwelling, and unlawful possession of a motor vehicle. McMorris was killed during the burglary, and her body taken to the location where she was later found.

White, now 46, pleaded guilty in Lincoln County Circuit Court on Wednesday, April 3, 2024, to capital murder and unlawful taking of a motor vehicle. Judge David Strong sentenced White to life in prison for murder, and an additional 5 years for the theft of her auto. The entire sentence must be served without the possibility of early release or parole.

District Attorney Brendon Adams prosecuted the case. He expressed appreciation for the work of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office for their time and hard work in building a solid case against the defendant.

“These types of cases can be very time consuming and complex to investigate, and Sheriff [Steve] Rushing’s officers did an outstanding job,” Adams said.

“Burglarizing someone’s home is an incredibly serious crime in and of itself,” he said. “However, when it is coupled with an assault on the homeowner, which in this case resulted in the death of an innocent lady, it must be prosecuted with the full weight of my office People must be able to feel safe in their homes. Once that safety has been violated, it is hard to ever feel safe again.”

Adams said his office will continue to hold accountable those who commit burglary and other “senseless acts of violence.”

“My heart goes out to the family of Mrs. McMorris,” said Adams. “I know there is no real closure in these types of cases. However, I hope the victim’s loved ones can take some comfort in knowing that Mr. White has been held accountable for his actions and justice has been served.”

White has been remanded to the custody of MDOC.