Captured Ala. inmate charged with felony murder in CO's death

Though Casey White has been charged with Vicky White's death, the indictment does not say he killed her

By Paul Gattis

LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. — Casey White, the subject of a national manhunt in May after escaping from jail in Lauderdale County, has been charged with felony murder in connection with the death of Vicky White — the jail officer who aided the escape.

Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly announced Casey White’s indictment Tuesday. Casey White was captured May 9 in Evansville, Indiana, 11 days after leaving the jail in Florence with Vicky White, who authorities said facilitated his escape.

Casey White, left, and Assistant Director of Corrections Vicky White.
Casey White, left, and Assistant Director of Corrections Vicky White. (Photo/U.S. Marshals Service, Lauderdale County Sheriff's Office via AP)

Vicky White remained with Casey White and died as police closed in by what Indiana authorities said was a self-inflicted gunshot to the head as police closed in.

Though Casey White has been charged with her death, the indictment does not say he killed her.

The indictment charges Casey White with first-degree escape “and in the course and furtherance of committing escape in the first degree, caused the death of Vicky White, who died from a gunshot wound to the head.”

The indictment was returned by the grand jury during the June session.

In a news release, Connolly said he would have no further comment on the case at this time.

“Casey White will enter a plea of not guilty to the charge of felony murder at his arraignment,” White’s defense attorney, Mark McDaniel, said in a statement Tuesday. “The defense team will file a number of pre-trial motions including a motion for the state to provide the defense team with a copy of the autopsy of Vicky White. After receiving the results of the autopsy, the defense team will file additional motions stating the relief sought.”

[RELATED: Captured Ala. inmate's lawyers want capital murder confession thrown out]

The code cited in the indictment charging Casey White with felony murder, Section 13A-6-2, states that “under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to human life, he or she recklessly engages in conduct which creates a grave risk of death to a person other than himself or herself, and thereby causes the death of another person.”

Casey White was served a copy of the indictment Monday at Donaldson Correctional Facility, where he is serving a 75-year term for a 2015 crime spree. He is also facing a capital murder charge for the death of Connie Ridgeway in Lauderdale County and the trial is scheduled for December.

According to Lauderdale County officials, Vicki White escorted Casey White out of the jail on April 29 under the pretense of attending a mental evaluation hearing at the nearby courthouse. There was no such hearing scheduled, officials said.

[RELATED: Lawyers reveal potential defense in captured Ala. inmate's case]

The two proceeded to a local shopping center, switched vehicles and the manhunt started hours later.

Casey White and Vicki White remained on the run for 11 days before being discovered in Evansville, Indiana. As police pursued the vehicle Casey White and Vicki White were in, it crashed into a ditch and Vicki White took her own life. An autopsy confirmed that Vicki White died by suicide.

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NEXT: A look inside the manhunt for captured Ala. inmate and corrections officer

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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