Prisoners escape, correctional officers plan to shootout with police
Author : Candy Fimolla | Published On : 12 May 2022
Alabama murder suspect Casey White has been interviewed extensively since he was apprehended on Monday, ending an 11-day, multistate manhunt, and is cooperating with the investigation, authorities said.
Escaped inmate Casey White had spent about one week in Evansville, Indiana, where he was taken into custody, Vanderburgh County Sheriff Dave Wedding said at a news conference Tuesday.
The sheriff said Casey White admitted they were trying to “find a place to hide out and lay low,” and that he paid for a 14-day stay at an Evansville hotel.
They had multiple wigs, the sheriff said.
After the pair was spotted at the Evansville hotel on Monday, they led police on a car chase for several minutes in a Cadillac they purchased in Evansville, the sheriff’s office said.
Authorities rammed the Whites’ car and pushed it into a ditch, Wedding said. Had police not done that, he said, “the fugitive” admitted he planned to get into a shootout with law enforcement. The sheriff praised law enforcement’s actions for possibly saving lives.
The sheriff’s office said investigators found a loaded AR-15-style rifle, four loaded handguns, extra magazines for each weapon, handcuffs, a TASER, a large sum of cash and camping gear in the vehicle after it crashed.
The crash ended in a wreck and Vicky White was hospitalized for injuries from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, officials said. She died at a hospital Monday night. A Tuesday autopsy confirmed the manner of death was suicide, according to Vanderburgh County Coroner Steve Lockyear.
“When we were taking Casey White into custody, upon his surrender he said, ‘Help my wife, she just shot herself,’” Commander Deputy U.S. Marshal Chad Hunt told ABC News’ “Good Morning America” on Tuesday.
Hunt said there’s no evidence to show the two were married.
The manhunt began on April 29 when Casey White and Vicky White, who are not related, fled the Lauderdale County Jail in Florence, Alabama. Authorities said they believe Vicky White willingly participated in the escape, which took place on her last day before retirement.
The duo left Alabama in a Ford Edge and ditched the car in Williamson County, Tennessee — about a two-hour drive north of Florence — just hours after the jail break.
“When we located the orange Ford Edge our investigators were able to determine that Casey and Vicky purchased another vehicle out of Tennessee,” Hunt said.
On Monday, U.S. Marshals said investigators were in Evansville following up on a tip after a 2006 Ford F-150 believed to have been used by Casey White and Vicky White was found abandoned at a car wash on May 3. Police were alerted to the vehicle on Sunday.
“We were able to verify the footage — that that was Casey White in the Ford F-150,” Hunt said.
“We obtained information, after we located the [Ford F-150] vehicle, that they had possibly gotten into a beige 2006 Cadillac. We dispatched our people into the area of the car wash and observed the vehicle at a hotel,” U.S. Marshal Marty Keely told “GMA.“
Casey White and Vicky White do not appear to have any relatives, friends or acquaintances in Evansville, the sheriff said.
No one was injured as a result of the escape, Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton said.
Casey White had been in the Lauderdale County Jail awaiting trial for capital murder after allegedly stabbing a woman to death in 2015, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.
He will be brought back to Lauderdale County to be arraigned, Singleton said.
During a hearing in Vanderburgh County Superior Court Tuesday morning, Casey White waived his rights of extradition, according to the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office, which said it is not releasing information on the transport of the suspect.
“They were located through just police work, good police work, with all the agencies involved,” Keely said. “We also had some information, tips, that came forward. We certainly want to thank the public.”
Vicky White had served for 17 years as a corrections officer in Lauderdale County. Singleton described her as “an exemplary employee” until the escape.
Singleton told ABC News Live on Tuesday, “Some of our younger [officers said] she was like a mother figure to them.”
He added, “This is just totally, totally unlike her. … What in the world possessed her to pull a stunt like this?”
She withdrew approximately $90,000 in cash from multiple banks before allegedly fleeing, Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly said. He said the banks were local to the Lauderdale County area, but he could not say when she withdrew the money.
On April 18 — just days before the escape — Vicky White closed on the sale of her home for just over $95,000.
The Whites had about $29,000 left in their car when they were apprehended, Wedding said.
“Based on her experience in the corrections industry and law enforcement, this was definitely a well thought-out escape,” Hunt said. “And obviously her pre-planning and her involvement aided in their evasion.”