'We was in love': Man who escaped jail with help of corrections officer pleads guilty

The saga of an Alabama corrections officer and the inmate she helped to escape before fleeing with him across the country took a new twist on Thursday.

Casey White, 39, pleaded guilty in a Florence, Alabama, courtroom, according to multiple media reports, to a first-degree escape charge in exchange for the murder charge he faced in corrections officer Vicky White's death being dropped. Vicky White died of a gunshot wound a police chase that ended in Evansville, Indiana, on May 9, 2022.

Casey White was in Lauderdale County for a status hearing ahead of his June 12 trial in Vicky White’s death. The agenda purportedly included the jury pool, the results of a mental examination of Casey White, where he’d be held during the trial and a change of venue motion filed by his attorneys.

Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly told News 19 that White approached him after the hearing to present the plea deal. Connolly said White agreed to the maximum sentence for first-degree escape, which is life in prison, however, a judge will have the final say at his sentencing on June 8.

Casey White was returned to Donaldson Correctional Facility. He’s already serving a 75-year sentence at Donaldson for attempted murder, burglary, kidnapping and robbery.

Casey White, left, and Vicky White
Casey White, left, and Vicky White

White was jailed at the Lauderdale County Detention Center a little more than a year ago, awaiting trial on a capital murder charge. On April 29, 2022, Vicky White, 56, the facility’s assistant director of corrections, took him from the jail, telling colleagues he was to undergo a psychological evaluation. The two left in a police vehicle, which was captured on a surveillance video.

They never returned, and a manhunt was launched. At first it was thought Casey White might have coerced Vicky White (who was set to retire on April 29) into helping him escape, but it was soon discovered that she had sold property for more than $95,000 and had purchased guns, men’s clothing and vehicles. Authorities also learned that she had been giving Casey White preferential treatment in jail.

Casey White said in court on Thursday, “Things happened… and we was in love.”

Warrants were issued for Vicky White’s arrest and the scope of the search expanded. The two traveled north, staying in a series of motels, and Vicky White dyed her blond hair black.

They were located at a motel in Evansville, Indiana, on May 9, 2022, and attempted to flee from authorities. The car they were traveling in flipped into a ditch after being hit by a police vehicle. Casey White surrendered; Vicky White shot herself in the head and died later that day.

This article originally appeared on The Gadsden Times: Alabama man pleads guilty in jail escape with corrections officer