Sheriff: Alabama inmate and jailer were ready for a shootout | News, Sports, Jobs

FILE – This combination of photos provided by the US Marshals Service and the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office in April 2022 shows inmate Casey White, left, and Deputy Director of Corrections Vicky White. The former Alabama prison official on the run with the murder suspect she was accused of helping escape shot and killed herself on Monday, May 9, as authorities were catching up with the couple after more than a week of searching, officials said. The man she ran away with has surrendered. (US Marshals Service, Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office via AP, file)

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) – A murder suspect and the jailer who helped him escape from an Alabama prison were carrying $29,000 in cash, four handguns and an AR-15 rifle and were ready for a shooting when they were captured, an Indiana sheriff said Tuesday.

Authorities caught up with the couple on Monday, more than a week after the escape and nearly 300 miles away, and rammed their car into a ditch after a brief chase. Escaped inmate Casey White, 38, turned himself in, while prison official Vicky White, 56, was found with a gunshot wound to the head and was pronounced dead in a hospital, officials said. responsible.

Authorities believe she committed suicide, but a coroner will make the decision, Vanderburgh County Sheriff Dave Wedding said.

The end of the manhunt has left authorities trying to piece together what happened in the 11 days after Vicky White escorted Casey White from a Florence, Alabama prison to what she falsely claimed was a mental health assessment.

The inmate and long-divorced Vicky White appeared to have had a “jail romance” Alabama authorities said last week. They weren’t related.

As to his role in the escape, the sheriff said: “He wasn’t forcing her. It was a reciprocal relationship. »

At the time of the escape, Casey White was serving a 75-year prison sentence for attempted murder and other offenses and was awaiting trial for stabbing a woman to death during a 2015 burglary. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.

Investigators believe the couple spent around six days locked up in a motel in Evansville. Authorities discovered wigs intended to hide their identity. Wedding said investigators did not believe the two had relatives or other contacts in the town of 120,000.

“They thought they had driven long enough. They wanted to stop for a while, get their bearings and then find the next place to travel,” said the sheriff.

Authorities moved closer to them after the manager of a car wash reported that a man closely resembling Casey White, 6ft 9in and 260lbs, was recorded by a surveillance camera exiting a car. van.

Investigators said they located the van, then learned the couple may have moved on to a Cadillac, which was later spotted outside a nearby motel. When the couple left the motel, police chased them, authorities said.

Casey White told investigators after his capture that “he was probably going to have a shooting at the stake where they would both lose their lives”, said the sheriff.

The inmate appeared by video on Tuesday in an Indiana courtroom, where he waived extradition, and authorities said he would be returned to Alabama.

A lawyer representing White in the murder case, Jamy Poss, declined to comment.

Vicky White, assistant director of corrections at Lauderdale County Jail, had retired before the escape, and the day of the escape, April 29, was her last day on the job.

A woman who worked with her for 16 years could barely speak through tears on Tuesday.

“I know she did wrong and made a terrible mistake, but she’s still your friend.” Sherry Sylvester, longtime prison worker.

She said White often tried to help prisoners, especially those without families. But Sylvester said she’s never seen White do anything that crossed the line: “She did everything according to the book.”

Connie Moore, Casey White’s mother, said she last spoke to him by phone the day before the escape. She said maybe her son didn’t know what was going to happen.

“Everything was as normal as it gets. I doubt he even knew he was leaving when she came to pick him up. said Moore.

A warrant was issued May 2 against Vicky White charging her with enabling or facilitating the escape. Authorities said the plan appeared to have been in the works for some time. She sold her house for about half its market value and bought an SUV which she hid in a mall without license plates.

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