Escaped Alabama inmate takes plea deal in death of jailor who helped him

An Alabama inmate who escaped from jail with the help of a sheriff’s official and led police on an 11-day manhunt that ended with her death took a plea deal Thursday, his attorney said.

White pleaded guilty to escape, instead of the murder count against him, in connection with the death of the sheriff’s official who helped him, Vicky White.

“Things happened really fast today, unexpectedly,” Casey White’s attorney, Robert Tuten, told reporters after the hearing, according to video from NBC affiliate WAFF of Huntsville.

Tuten said White pleaded guilty to escape and will be sentenced on a later date.

Lauderdale Country District Attorney Chris Connolly did not immediately respond to a request for comment from NBC News.

WAFF reported that Connolly said White agreed to a sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole in the plea deal.

The escape on April 29, 2022, sparked a nationwide manhunt and intense media coverage.

Vicky White, then assistant director of corrections at the Lauderdale County Jail in Florence, Alabama, helped White escape, telling others she was taking him to a mental health evaluation, officials have said.

Authorities have said Vicky White was in a two-year relationship with White, and the county sheriff called her the mastermind of the escape at the time. Vicky and Casey White aren’t related.

Police caught up with the pair in Indiana on May 9, 2022. Vicky White died at the end of a police chase in which the vehicle she and the escapee were in crashed. The coroner said she fatally shot herself and died by suicide.

Casey White was charged with murder in July 2022 in her death on the allegation that he caused her death while committing first-degree escape.

He is already serving a 75-year sentence that was handed down in 2019.

He also faces a capital murder charge in the 2015 killing of Connie Ridgeway, who was fatally stabbed in her home.

White was awaiting trial for the Ridgeway case when he escaped from the Lauderdale County Jail with Vicky White’s help.

Casey White has also been charged federally in Indiana in connection with the escape. After the chase, police said they found several firearms.

In July 2022 he was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and a fugitive in possession of a firearm, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana said at the time.

That case is still pending, according to online court records. The charges stem from White allegedly being in possession of five guns, including an AR-15 rifle, as a convicted felon while he was on the run in 2022.

The Associated Press contributed.

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