FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – News 19 has taken a closer look at how investigators say Vicky White executed an escape with an inmate from Lauderdale County Jail last Friday.
The escape made national headlines, but Vicky, the former deputy director of Lauderdale County Corrections, and Casey White, who was in jail awaiting trial for capital murder, remain free, according to the latest. reports.
Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton told News 19 the night before Vicky helped the inmate escape – using a false claim that he had a mental health appointment at the courthouse. justice – she stayed in a hotel near Florence Boulevard.
And, it seems, the location of the hotel was part of a bigger plan. Investigators say Vicky White’s sheriff’s office car was found parked in the Florence mall hours after the couple left the jail.
Investigators learned that the getaway car she had purchased a few days earlier – a copper-colored 2007 Ford Edge – was in the same lot the day before the escape. The hotel she stayed in was within walking distance of this pitch.
Singleton says she drove her official car to work last Friday morning, picked up Casey White, and then changed vehicles. The couple have not been seen since that day, authorities said.
News 19 asked Singleton why he thought Vicky White, 56, was staying at the hotel, rather than with her mother, where she had been living since selling her own house.
“It’s just basically, strictly, my own opinion,” Singleton said. “I think she didn’t want to confront her mother that morning, knowing she was going to leave.”
The US Marshals Service said after the couple left, they were last seen in Rogersville later that day in the Ford. However, Singleton told News 19 that local authorities have been unable to verify that claim.
“I don’t know if they were spotted in Rogersville on Friday, I understand the vehicle was seen in Rogersville prior to Friday,” the sheriff said.
Singleton said he no longer believes Vicky and Casey White, who are believed to be unrelated, remain in the area.
“I don’t think they’re local,” Singleton said. “Sure they could be just down the street, you know how it is. If I knew where they were, that’s where we’d be. But my instinct is that they are out of that zone.
Casey White, 38, has an ongoing murder case – a murder case, according to Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly, must go to trial once he is recaptured. He is charged with two counts of capital murder in the October 2015 death of Connie Ridgeway at her home in Rogersville. Ridgeway was found stabbed to death.
Casey allegedly confessed to the murder while already serving a 75-year prison sentence at Donaldson Correctional Center in Bessemer for attempted murder, kidnapping and burglary.
There have been a number of delays in the murder case. Connolly told News 19 that those issues contributed to White’s transfer to the Lauderdale County Detention Center in February. The Alabama Department of Corrections did not allow White’s attorneys to bring a computer or hard drive into the jail to discuss White’s case with him.
Connolly said White’s lack of access to his attorneys to help his defense was an issue that would affect the future of the case. Connolly said he only wanted to try it once, but if the case proceeds without White meeting regularly with his lawyers, it could potentially be dismissed on appeal.
Connolly said the standoff with the state prison system has significantly impeded progress on the case. The defense requested in December that Casey be moved to Lauderdale County Jail so they could prepare his case.
The original February trial was pushed back to April, and the trial judge ordered Casey transferred to Lauderdale County in February. But, the case continued until February, which meant that Casey was in prison partially supervised by Vicky White for more than two months.
Connolly told News 19 that the June trial date will likely be further delayed by the chaos of the escape. And, if caught, he wants to see Casey White returned to the state prison system. He also wants state prison officials to change their approach and allow White’s attorneys access to him to prepare for the capital murder case. Prosecutors are asking for the death penalty.
Connolly said it was important to try the capital murder case against White.
“One, he needs to be held accountable for what he did,” Connolly told News 19. “And number two, these victims deserve to have the person who we believe murdered their mother brought to justice for what crime. And you know, this life without parole or 75-year sentence that he’s serving now, who knows what the parole board might do? I’m not saying they’d let him out, but I mean, you know, you could say 75 years; I’ve seen lifers come out of there.
There has been public speculation that Casey confessed to Ridgeway’s murder to be moved out of the prison system and into Lauderdale County Jail.
But Connolly said Casey’s alleged murder confession prompted investigators to consider him a suspect, they didn’t stop there, they verified his information and then charged him.
Casey was charged with capital murder during a robbery and capital murder for profit. Connolly said he was indicted on the second charge because of the confession, but investigators were unable to corroborate the claim that he was paid to kill Ridgeway. Connolly said the charge is not being investigated and White’s trial will focus on the first charge.
And, he says, Casey and Vicky White will face additional charges for the escape once they are located.
“He’s going to be charged with first degree escape, which is a (Class) B felony and I forget how much prior history he has,” Connolly said. “But she can also be accused of being complicit in this. Additionally, there is a separate charge against her for aiding in the escape.
Suggest a fix