Authorities have apprehended a former Alabama jail official, along with the murder suspect she is accused of helping escape from custody, more than a week after the pair went on the run.
Law enforcement officials said on Monday that the two fugitives were caught near Evansville, Indiana, following a car chase that ended in a crash. Casey White, 38, surrendered and Vicky White, 56, was taken to a hospital, said Rick Singleton, the sheriff of Alabama’s Lauderdale County.
“This has ended a very long and stressful and challenging week and a half. It ended the way that we knew it would. They are in custody,” Singleton said.
The pair had been the target of a nationwide manhunt since 29 April when Vicky White, the assistant director of corrections for the jail in Lauderdale County, allegedly helped engineer the escape of Casey White, who was awaiting trial in a capital murder case. Vicky White had told co-workers she was taking the prisoner from the jail for a mental health evaluation at the courthouse, but the two instead fled the area.
In Indiana, Vanderburgh county Sheriff Dave Wedding said officials had learned that their vehicle was near the sheriff’s office. As officers arrived, Casey and Vicky White fled in the vehicle and led police on a pursuit, he said. US marshals collided with them “to try to end the pursuit”, he said. Casey White was injured, not too seriously, in the ensuing crash and Vicky White then shot herself, causing “very serious” injuries, he said.
“We’re lucky that no law enforcement was injured, no innocent civilians were injured. The pursuit was short in nature and we have both people in custody,” Wedding said
Casey White was serving a 75-year prison sentence for attempted murder and other charges at the time of his escape. “We got a dangerous man off the street today. He is never going to see the light of day again. That is a good thing, for not just our community. That’s a good thing for our country,” Singleton said.
Vicky White’s family members and co-workers said they were stunned by her involvement. Singleton had said that, in hindsight, it appeared the plan had been in the works for some time. Prisoners at the jail said the two had a special relationship and she gave Casey White better treatment than other inmates. She had recently sold her home and had communicated with Casey White when he was in a state prison.
A warrant was issued on 2 May for Vicky Sue White, charging her with permitting or facilitating escape in the first degree.
The pickup truck, a 2006 Ford F-150, was found Monday in Evansville after US marshals received a tip on Sunday that the pickup was seen at a car wash in the town, the marshals service said. Surveillance photos showed a man who closely resembles Casey White exiting the vehicle at the car wash, officials said.
Investigators believe the pickup truck was stolen in Tennessee and then driven about 175 miles to Evansville, a law enforcement official told the Associated Press. The official could not discuss details of the investigation publicly and spoke to AP on condition of anonymity.
Federal and local law enforcement officials have also learned Casey White threatened to kill his former girlfriend and his sister in 2015 and said “that he wanted police to kill him,” the marshals service said. Investigators said they have been in contact with them about the threats and are taking measures to ensure their safety.
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