FLORENCE, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama inmate charged in the death of a jail official who helped him escape pleaded guilty Thursday to escape in exchange for having the murder case dismissed.
Casey Cole White, 39, entered the plea agreement in Lauderdale County Court, avoiding a June trial on the felony murder charge. He continues to await trial on a separate murder charge.
Authorities said White escaped from an Alabama jail in 2022 with the help of Vicky White, the assistant director of corrections for Lauderdale County and a 17-year veteran of the sheriff’s office. Law enforcement officials initially thought that the inmate had kidnapped the female jailer but later learned the pair had a jailhouse romance.
An 11-day manhunt for the pair ended in Indiana as authorities caught up with them. Casey White was recaptured, and Vicky White died by a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Casey White was charged in her death because Alabama law allows someone to be charged with murder if someone is killed while a felony is being committed.
WHNT-TV reported that Casey White apologized to Vicky White’s mother when entering his plea. “It wasn’t supposed to go that way,” he said. He said the pair had fallen in love, and they planned to start a new life together.
One requirement of the plea deal is that Casey White have no contact with Vicky White’s family, court records show.
On the day of the escape, Vicky White, 56, told co-workers she was taking Casey White to a mental health evaluation. But authorities later learned no such appointment existed.
Casey White is also scheduled to go on trial this summer for capital murder in the 2015 stabbing death of Connie Ridgeway in Rogersville.