Escaped Alabama inmate Casey White’s first words after his capture were “I didn’t do it,” as his lover, the corrections officer, lay dying of a gunshot wound in his car.
White, a 38-year-old capital murder suspect, and Vicky White, a 56-year-old deputy director of corrections at the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office, were finally captured Monday following a 10-day multi-state manhunt after she he allegedly helped break him out of jail on April 29.
Mrs. White died of a gunshot wound to the head after a dramatic police chase and car accident in Evansville, Indiana.
White turned himself in to authorities at the scene and instantly denied shooting the woman he allegedly had an affair with for two years in jail.
“You guys help my wife, she shot herself in the head and I didn’t,” he told officers, according to U.S. Marshal Martin Keeley.
The US Marshal said CNN Monday night that there is no evidence to suggest the Whites, who are not related, are married.
Authorities initially said that she had suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
However, Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton told NewsNationNow Brian Entin that officials weren’t ruling anything out and that he wouldn’t be surprised if the gunshot wound wasn’t self-inflicted.
No law enforcement officers opened fire during the encounter with the fugitives, the sheriff said.
An autopsy will be performed on Tuesday to determine the cause and manner of death.
With Mrs. White now dead, many unanswered questions remain about the prison break and suspected suicide of the 56-year-old widow who had an “exemplary” two-decade career.
Sheriff Singleton, who was Mrs. White’s boss and worked with her for many years, said on the Monday before her death that he hoped she would survive her “serious injuries” as he had some questions to answer.
“We don’t wish Vicky any harm, but she has some answers for us,” he said.
White was being held at the jail where the 56-year-old correctional officer worked while awaiting trial for the capital murder of a 58-year-old woman.
Sheriff Singleton said he will be returned to the same facility he escaped from and vowed to make sure he would never escape again.
“He will be alone in a cell. He will remain handcuffed and shackled while he is in that cell and if he wants to sue me for violating his civil rights, so be it,” he said.
“He is not going to get out of this jail again. I assure.
White was jailed in Indiana in the early hours of Tuesday morning, where he is said to be cooperating with authorities.
The Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office released a new mug shot of the fugitive looking clean-shaven, having shed the mustache and goatee he sported before his escape in footage shared by police during the chase.
The network closed on the suspects after authorities received a tip from a member of the public that they were staying at a hotel in Evansville.
U.S. Marshal Keely said officers began surveillance and saw Mrs. White walking out of the hotel wearing a wig.
She and White then got into a cadillac and drove away.
At that point, police gave chase, before US marshals pulled the couple’s car off the road to stop it and cause it to flip.
US Marshals said the convict was immediately removed from the car and turned himself in, but Mrs. White was trapped inside the vehicle with a gunshot wound.
Once she was taken to hospital, authorities said her condition was “serious” before her death was confirmed about an hour later.
Authorities have given conflicting reports about who was behind the wheel at the time.
Vanderburgh County Sheriff Dave Wedding said the pair appear to have been in Indiana for six days prior to their capture as far back as May 3, when surveillance footage captured the inmate at a local car wash.
“It’s hard to believe they were here for so many days. They are criminals, sometimes they do things that are unexplainable, but I’m glad they did,” he told reporters Monday night.
Surveillance footage, shared as stills by officials Monday afternoon, showed the capital murder suspect entering the Weinbach Car Wash in Evansville, Indiana, last Tuesday.
U.S. Marshal Commander of the Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force Chad Hunt said the independent that officials had confirmed that White is the man in the picture.
Correctional officer Vicky White, who is believed to have been in a romantic relationship with him for the past two years, was not seen at the car wash, he said.
Investigators responded to the business Monday after receiving a tip that a 2006 Ford F-150 had been found abandoned there last Wednesday.
The car wash owner then provided investigators with the footage of White from surveillance cameras.
US Marshals believe the truck was used by the prisoner and prison officer during his time on the run.
Evansville is about 175 miles north of Williamson County, Tennessee, where the couple abandoned their first getaway car: a rust-colored 2007 Ford Edge.
On Friday, the US Marshals Service announced that the Ford Edge had been found along a rural road in Tennessee, about a two-hour drive north of the Lauderdale County jail, where the inmate was being held. detained before his escape from prison on April 29.
Authorities said the couple left jail in Ms. White’s patrol car before abandoning the vehicle in a nearby shopping center parking lot and changing into the getaway car.
However, officials believe they were forced to switch vehicles again after the Ford Edge broke down.
The Ford Edge was actually located just hours after the pair went missing and taken to a tow-away lot in Williamson County, but its connection to the case was only realized on Friday.
The second getaway vehicle was reported missing near Nashville, Tennessee, shortly after the Ford Edge was found abandoned.
Officials admitted the time lapse in identifying the Ford Edge as the getaway car marked another “setback” in the manhunt after the pair already had a six-hour head start before jail staff noticed their disappearance. .
White will now face new charges for the prison break. It is not yet clear if she will face charges related to Mrs. White’s death.
Prior to her death, Mrs. White had also been charged with allowing/aiding escape, identity theft and second degree forgery.
Sheriff Singleton said the couple had been in what he described as a “prison romance” or a “special relationship” for the past two years.
He said there is evidence that they had been in contact since 2020 when White was transferred out of the county jail after he was accused of planning another prison break.
Mrs. White allegedly contacted him by phone before the inmate was transferred back to the local jail in February.
Upon his return, White had received special treatment from the prison officer, including being given extra food on his trays, authorities said.
Mrs. White had also sold her house just five weeks earlier for well below its market value, withdrawing $90,000 in cash from her bank accounts and filing for retirement days before the couple disappeared.
His last day of work was the day he disappeared, although his retirement papers had not been finalized.
After selling her house, she moved in with her mother, who previously said she knew nothing about her daughter’s retirement plans and had never heard her talk about White.
The sheriff’s office said Ms. White, who is not related to the inmate, picked him up from the detention center around 9:30 a.m. on April 29, claiming she was taking him for a mental health evaluation at the courthouse. of Lauderdale County.
She told her co-workers that once she had escorted him to court, she would seek medical attention for her because she was not feeling well.
They never made it to court and neither the prison officer nor the inmate has been seen since.
Sheriff Singleton said they later learned that White had no appointments or court appearances scheduled for that day.
Ms. White’s 2013 Ford Taurus patrol car was found abandoned in a shopping center parking lot not far from the jail around 11 a.m. that day.
Sheriff Singleton said that Mrs. White, who coordinates all inmate transportation, broke protocol by taking the inmate out of jail alone.
Due to the seriousness of the charges against White and his previous prison break attempt, it is policy that he must be escorted by two sworn deputies at all times, including when being transported to and from the courthouse.
But, despite the violation, the alarm was only raised several hours after the couple was released from jail on Friday morning.
Around 3:30 pm that afternoon, Mrs. White’s co-workers became concerned that she had not returned and were unable to reach her by phone.
It was only then that they also realized that White had not returned to jail either.
White is awaiting trial on capital murder charges in the 2015 stabbing murder of 58-year-old mother Connie Ridgeway.
Ms. Ridgeway was found stabbed to death in her apartment in Rogersville, Alabama, on October 23, 2015.
The case remained unsolved for five years until White sent a letter to the authorities confessing to the crime.
At the time, he was already behind bars serving a 75-year sentence after being convicted of a series of crimes in both Alabama and Tennessee.
The spree includes a home invasion, carjacking and a police chase, with White shooting one person and holding six at gunpoint.
In 2020, White was charged with two counts of capital murder for the murder of Mrs. Ridgeway.
The Marshals Service said White also threatened to kill his ex-girlfriend and her sister in 2015, and previously said he wanted police to kill him.
Shortly after the prison break, the sheriff described Mrs. White as an “exemplary employee” who had worked as a corrections officer for more than two decades.
Since then it has been learned that she helped orchestrate the escape of the man with whom she had some kind of relationship, according to the authorities.