Ex-Alabama jail official who was on the run with escaped inmate kills herself as authorities close in
A former Alabama jail official on the run with a murder suspect she was accused of helping escape shot and killed herself Monday as authorities caught up with the pair after more than a week of searching, officials said. The man she fled with surrendered.
The death of Vicky White, 56, only deepened the mystery of why a respected jail official would leave everything to help free Casey White, 38, a hulking inmate with a violent and frightening history.
The two fugitives were caught — following a manhunt through three states — in Evansville, Ind., when U.S. Marshals chasing them crashed into their vehicle, authorities said. Casey White gave himself up and Vicky White shot herself and was taken to a hospital, authorities said. Vanderburgh County Coroner Steve Lockyear said she died from her injuries.
Before Vicky White’s death, authorities celebrated the fugitives’ apprehension.
“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,” Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton of Alabama said.
The manhunt began April 29 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 inmate from the jail for a mental health evaluation at the courthouse, but the two, who are not related, instead fled the area.
The car they took off in was later found abandoned in Tennessee, but there was no trace of the pair until U.S. Marshals received a tip Sunday that surveillance photos from an Evansville car wash showed a man who closely resembled Casey White exiting a 2006 Ford F-150 pickup truck, the Marshals Service said. White stands 6 feet, 9 inches tall.
On Monday, officials learned that the pair was spotted near the sheriff’s office, said Vanderburgh County Sheriff Dave Wedding in Indiana. As officers arrived, the pair fled in a vehicle and led police on a pursuit, he said. U.S. Marshals collided with them “to try to end the pursuit,” he said. Casey White was injured, not too seriously, in the 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. He was awaiting trial in the stabbing of a 58-year-old woman during a burglary in 2015. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.
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.
A warrant was issued on May 2 for Vicky White, charging her with permitting or facilitating escape in the first degree.
Before her death was announced, the Alabama sheriff said he hoped to get answers from his once trusted jail employee about her actions but acknowledged those answers might not come.
“I had every bit of trust in Vicky White. She has been an exemplary employee. What in the world provoked her, prompted her to pull a stunt like this? I don’t know. I don’t know if we’ll ever know,” Singleton said.
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