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Life Sentence for Alabama Jail Escapee After Suicide of Guard Lover Who Helped Him

On June 8, 2023, a judge in Alabama’s Lauderdale County handed a life sentence without parole to a state prisoner for escaping the county lockup with his jail-guard lover, who then committed suicide as pursuing police closed in. Casey White, 39, pleaded guilty to felony escape in a deal with prosecutors, who dropped a capital murder charge that might have sent him to death row.

White was serving a 75-year prison sentence for attempted murder with the state Department of Corrections (DOC) when he was transferred to the Lauderdale County Detention Center in 2020 to face trial for a 2015 murder in the county. Not quite two years later, jail Assistant Director Vicky White, 56 – who was no relation – hurriedly arranged her own retirement and sold her home at a steep discount for cash to finance the prisoner’s escape on April 29, 2022. Their getaway triggered a nearly two-week manhunt before cops caught up with the couple near Evansville, Indiana, running their car off the road on May 9, 2022. Vicky White then fatally shot herself.

“You think you know someone,” county Sheriff Rick Singleton said of his dead jailer, whose 17-year career was spotless. “And it turns out you really don’t know them at all.”

Casey White must still stand trial in August 2023 on his original charge for killing Connie Ridgeway, 59, at her apartment in August 2015. He sent a letter from his cell at DOC’s William Donaldson Correctional Facility in June 2020, confessing to the murder and claiming he was paid to do it, though not naming by whom. No one else has been charged in that crime, but prosecutors announced they would not seek the death penalty for White in that case.

Though confessing to Ridgeway’s murder brought Casey White to the jail where Vicky White worked, Sheriff Singleton insisted the two had no prior relationship. However, Casey White reportedly began recanting his confession as soon as cops pulled him from the getaway car where his dead “wife” slumped in the passenger seat.

He also has the remainder of his original sentence to serve for a wild night across northern Alabama and southern Tennessee in December 2015 that included a home invasion, a pair of carjackings and several shootings, killing a dog and injuring a woman.

Hours before sentencing for his felony escape plea, White gave a TV interview and claimed that he murdered another woman and her baby girl in Evansville before his recapture. Law enforcement authorities dismissed the confession as a ploy to secure a prison transfer, saying no missing person reports in Evansville matched the timeline of White’s escape. 

Sources: AP News, Birmingham News, CBS News, CNN, Vice