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Escaped Alabama inmate takes plea deal in death of jailer who helped him

Casey White escaped from an Alabama jail with the help of Vicky White, a sheriff's official, last year. Vicky White died after an intense 11-day manhunt.
Casey White arrives at the Lauderdale County Courthouse in Florence, Ala., after waiving extradition in Indiana in May 2022.
Casey White arrives at the Lauderdale County Courthouse in Florence, Ala., after waiving extradition in Indiana in May 2022.Dan Busey / The Times Daily via AP file

An Alabama inmate who escaped from jail with the help of a sheriff’s official and led police on an 11-day manhunt that ended with the official’s death took a plea deal Thursday, the district attorney said.

Casey White pleaded guilty to escape but not a murder count in connection with the death of the sheriff’s official who helped him, Vicky White.

“We consulted with Vicky White’s family prior to entering into this agreement. They approved the settlement and are relieved to get the case resolved without a lengthy jury trial followed by years of appeals,” Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly said.

First-degree escape was the lesser of the two counts Casey White faced. He agreed to a life sentence, which will be imposed on June 8, Connolly said.

White’s already serving a 75-year sentence and faces trial in another murder.

“Things happened really fast today, unexpectedly,” Casey White’s attorney, Robert Tuten, told reporters after the hearing, according to video from NBC affiliate WAFF of Huntsville.

The escape on April 29, 2022, sparked a nationwide manhunt and intense media coverage.

Vicky White, then the assistant director of corrections at the Lauderdale County Jail in Florence, helped White escape, telling others she was taking him to a mental health evaluation, officials have said.

Authorities have said Vicky White was in a two-year relationship with White, and the sheriff called her the mastermind of the escape at the time. Vicky and Casey White aren’t related.

Police caught up with the pair in Indiana on May 9, 2022. Vicky White died at the end of a police chase in which the vehicle she and the escapee were in crashed. The coroner said she shot herself and died by suicide.

Casey White was charged with murder in July on the allegation that he caused her death while committing first-degree escape.

He was already serving a sentence handed down in 2019 for unrelated attempted murder, burglary, kidnapping and robbery convictions when he escaped.

Casey White also faces a capital murder charge in the 2015 killing of Connie Ridgeway, who was fatally stabbed in her home.

White was awaiting trial in the Ridgeway case when he escaped from the Lauderdale County Jail with Vicky White’s help.

He has also been charged federally in Indiana in connection with the escape. After the chase, police said they found several firearms.

In July he was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and a fugitive in possession of a firearm, the U.S. attorney’s office for Southern Indiana said at the time.

That case is pending, according to online court records. The charges stem from White’s allegedly being in possession of five guns, including an AR-15 rifle, as a convicted felon while he was on the run last year.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, call 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. You can also call the network, previously known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, at 800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741 or visit for additional resources.