Video shows Ala prison officer missing in hotel before escape
By Caroline Robinson
Alabama jailer Vicky White spent the night at a hotel in Florence before helping capital murder suspect Casey White escape.
The Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office released a video Saturday of Vicky White, 56, leaving the Quality Inn at around 6:30 a.m. on Friday, April 29. The timestamp on the video shows her leaving just before 5:30 a.m., but authorities said the video’s time was one hour and 10 minutes.
The hotel is located near where authorities say Vicky White recently purchased a rust-colored 2007 Ford Edge. Authorities did not say why she spent the night there, but she had recently sold her house and was living with her mother.
Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton said he could only speculate. “I think it was just to avoid having to see his family,” he said on Saturday.
After leaving the hotel, Vicky White reported for work at the Lauderdale County Jail, where she was second in command and had earned an “exemplary” reputation.
But just three hours later, Vicky White walked out of jail with Casey White, telling her colleagues she was taking him for a mental health evaluation which investigators would later learn was never scheduled.
The couple drove straight to the Florence Square mall, where they ditched the patrol car and drove off in the Ford. Vicky White’s patrol keys, police radio and handcuffs were left in her sheriff’s vehicle.
The jailer had recently sold his home for $95,500 – far less than the appraised value – and had also purchased an AR-15 and a shotgun, which investigators say are still in the couple’s possession.
Authorities said she withdrew about $90,000 from area banks before the escape, which they believe came from the sale of the house.
Singleton said Vicky White and Casey White, who are not related, had a “prison romance” in which she made sure he had extra food on his plate and communicated with him while he was incarcerated in a prison. state prison.
In December 2015, White was arrested after authorities said he staged an overnight home invasion, two carjackings and multiple shootings in northern Alabama and southern Tennessee, which resulted in a dead dog and an injured woman.
In 2019, he was found guilty of a total of nine counts, including attempting to kill his ex-girlfriend and kidnapping his two housemates. Other charges included first-degree theft, first-degree burglary, third-degree burglary, breaking and entering a vehicle, animal cruelty for shooting a dog and attempting to escape.
In June 2020, Casey White sent a letter from jail to a Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office investigator confessing to the brutal murder-for-hire of Connie Jane Ridgeway on October 23, 2015. He said he was hired to kill Ridgeway, 59, who was found dead in her apartment in Rogersville.
With this confession, Casey White was returned to Lauderdale County Jail earlier this year.
Singleton describes the escape as well thought out and calculated.
After nearly a week of searching authorities for the Ford Edge, it was recovered Thursday night from a Tennessee towing yard.
Williamson County Sheriff’s officials said the vehicle was reported abandoned on Friday, April 29, the day the two men fled.
Tennessee sheriff’s officials also said there were no tags on the vehicle and it was locked. A search of the area where he was found was conducted on Friday morning.
Singleton said investigators learned the wanted vehicle was reported abandoned on a rural county road just before 2 p.m. on Friday and towed at 2:37 p.m.
The two men fled the prison around 9:30 a.m. on April 29 and were not reported missing until the afternoon.
“They found the car before we even knew they were gone,” Singleton said.
The US Marshals Service is leading the hunt with more than 100 investigators tasked with finding the elusive pair.
A $10,000 reward was issued by US Marshals for information leading to Casey White, and the agency later added a $5,000 reward for the capture of Vicky White, who is accused of enabling or facilitating a first degree escape, a punishable Class C felony. up to 10 years in prison.
On Friday, Gov. Kay Ivey issued a $5,000 reward each for information leading to the couple’s arrest. The full $10,000 reward was requested by Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly, who learned it was granted on Friday afternoon.
Casey White is now charged with first-degree escape, according to Connolly’s request to the governor.
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