A nationwide manhunt for a suspected murderer who escaped from jail in Alabama last month, and the former corrections officer believed to have artfully executed that escape, ended in the state of Indiana after a brief car chase and an ensuing crash on Monday evening.
“You just don’t know people sometimes,” Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton said during a press conference immediately after U.S. Marshals confirmed the two had, in fact, been apprehended. “You think you do and you really don’t know who they are.”
After having eluded law enforcement in three states for well over a week, Vicky White, 56, and Casey White, 38, (no familial relation) were allegedly spotted in a black pickup truck in Evansville, Indiana.
Singleton said Casey White was driving while Vicky White was a passenger. After giving chase and eventually crashing, Casey White, who surrendered to police after the crash, was taken into custody while Vicky White was taken to a hospital with serious injuries. She reportedly died at 7 p.m.
“This has ended a very long and stressful and challenging week and a half,” Singleton said. “It ended the way we knew it would.”
End of police chase — Evansville, Indiana. Car badly damaged. pic.twitter.com/8KMN8rezxm
— Brian Entin (@BrianEntin) May 9, 2022
“We hope she survives this,” Singleton said of his former employee before she was pronounced dead.
Vanderburgh County Sheriff Dave Wedding said that the former corrections officer shot herself sometime near the end of the pursuit or immediately after the Cadillac they were in crashed into a ditch. Wedding also said he believed Vicky White was the one driving, according to Hunstville, Ala. ABC affiliate WAAY.
According to Indianapolis Fox affiliate WXIN, the sheriff said it was immediately unclear where Vicky White had shot herself.
“From the time we initiated pursuit until the time it ended was less than a few minutes,” Wedding told reporters in the Hoosier State.
“We gained information that a vehicle matching the description of a suspect vehicle was near our sheriff’s office, so the U.S. Marshals Task Force and deputy sheriffs went to the area,” Wedding said in comments reported by Hunstville, Ala. CBS affiliate WHNT. “The Marshals Task Force officers intercepted them, actually collided with them to end the pursuit.”
“Her injuries are very serious,” Wedding said earlier. “I don’t know the true extent.”
Back in Alabama, authorities addressed questions and concerns about what they had hoped would happen next.
“We’ll make arrangements to have her detained in another facility,” Singleton said when asked a question about where the two will be held. “And in fact those arrangements have already been made.”
During the same press conference, Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly said his major goal was to hold Casey White “accountable for the murder of Connie Ridgeway.”
When he escaped, Casey White was being held on murder charges over the 2015 stabbing death of Connie Jane Ridgeway, the victim of a murder-for-hire scheme, who was killed in her own home. In 2020, he allegedly admitted he was paid to kill Ridgeway.
“His capital murder case is set for June,” the DA said, referring to the Ridgeway murder. “Plan A would be to try him in June for that.”
Connolly, when asked about the potential problems going forward, said “the media” could pose an issue for jurisdictional reasons.
“We don’t want a change of venue, we want to try this in Lauderdale County among his peers,” the prosecutor said.
Asked about Vicky White, Connolly noted the severity of her alleged offense and said “she’s looking at up to 10 years in prison.”
Singleton bookended the press conference with an angry denunciation of recent events and a vow of sorts.
“The day will come when Casey White will have to be brought back here for trial,” he said. “And I assure you, we have a crowding dilemma [in Lauderdale County] but he will be in a cell by himself if we have to put other inmates on the floor to make it happen.”
The sheriff said Casey White would be in both handcuffs and shackles when he’s back in the county jail.
“If he wants to sue me for violating his civil rights, so be it,” Singleton said. “He’s not getting out of this jail again. I’ll assure you that.”
[images via Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office]
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