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Who Is Connie Ridgeway, The Woman Escaped Inmate Casey White Is Accused Of Killing
Casey White has pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease for the 2015 fatal stabbing of Connie Ridgeway. The manhunt continues since his April 29 jail escape.
Relatives and loved ones of a woman allegedly killed by escaped Alabama convict Casey White are voicing their concerns with him still on the loose.
The nationwide manhunt continues for White, 38, who escaped from the Lauderdale County jail in Alabama on April 29 with the alleged help of assistant corrections director Vicky White, 56.
Casey, who is not related to his jailor, was already serving a 75-year prison term at the Alabama Department of Corrections for a string of violent crimes when he allegedly wrote a letter in June 2020 requesting to speak with a specific investigator at the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office. That's when he allegedly confessed to the fatal stabbing of 58-year-old Connie Ridgeway, according to CBS Huntsville affiliate KHNT.
Ridgeway’s son, Austin Williams, spoke with Oxygen.com about the kind of woman his mother was.
“She was just a super sweet, typical Christian, southern lady,” said Williams, who described his mom as a woman who drove her neighbors around. “She was always smiling, always happy. A person who was in that community where everybody there just loved her.”
Former Rogersville Police Officer Mark White, who created the Justice For Connie Ridgeway Facebook page with Williams’ help, also spoke to Oxygen.com about his interactions with Ridgeway. Mark recalled an event in 2011 when he responded to a fire at Ridgeway’s apartment complex to find Ridgeway trying to get through her neighbor’s door
“Who was at the door but Connie Ridgeway,” said Mark White. “There she was at the door trying to help her neighbor. … She was trying to help out her neighbor in any way she could, and that really does sum up Connie as a person.”
On Oct. 23, 2015, officers responded to a request for a welfare check at the Meadowland Apartments in Rogersville, according to AL.com. There, they found Ridgeway stabbed to death on her living room floor.
“That turns a little town like Rogersville upside down,” said Mark White, who was nearby when Ridgeway was found dead. “It’s a quiet type of community.”
It went unsolved for five years until Casey White allegedly confessed to the killing.
“When you go through something that horrible, I think, in a way, you get used to it,” said Williams. “You’re struggling every day; you don’t realize how much you’re struggling because of how it is, right?”
“So when he finally [allegedly] confessed, it was like a huge weight was lifted off,” Williams added.
Mark White added that news of the alleged confession was “painful,” but “it was something that we had sought for five years.”
“We fought for five years. We kept Connie's name out there for five years. We brought awareness to the crime for five years,” Mark White added. “It was also a relief to have a name behind this crime.”
Williams said Casey White was questioned the murder in the months following and hoped a trial would reveal why.
White has been charged with capital murder during a first-degree burglary, and murder for pecuniary gain in Ridgeway's killing; the latter charge suggest authorities believe he was paid to carry out the murder, according to AL.com.
During Casey White’s October 2020 arraignment, he pleaded not guilty to Ridgeway’s murder by reason of mental disease, according to Birmingham’s CBS affiliate. He has since been held at the Lauderdale County Jail, where he and Vicky White began their alleged romantic relationship, authorities stated.
On April 29, the pair disappeared on what was supposed to be Vicky White’s last day on the job, when she claimed she had to take the murder suspect to the courthouse for a mental evaluation.
It was unclear whether the corrections officer was a kidnapping victim or a willing participant until an arrest warrant was issued on May 2, charging her with aiding prisoner escape.
“I was in total shock; I didn’t even know how to respond,” Williams told Oxygen.com. “I spend a lot of time grieving, but I’m at the ‘mad’ part now. How is this possible?”
Casey White was arrested in 2015 following a multi-state crime spree that occurred on a single night, according to AL.com. He was charged in Limestone County, Alabama, with home invasion, two carjackings, and multiple shootings that left a dog dead and a woman injured.
He was charged in Giles County, Tennessee, with two counts of first-degree burglary and one count of first-degree robbery. Charges of attempted murder and kidnapping were also added after he allegedly tried to shoot his girlfriend and held her roommates hostage, according to NBC Birmingham affiliate WVTM-TV.
“I hope for the best outcome possible, that they’re captured without anyone getting hurt,” Williams told Oxygen.com. “But based on Casey’s history, he’s someone who has to be on medication, or he becomes unstable and violent. … He doesn’t have his medicine on him right now. Anybody who crosses his path at all, he’s very violent and very destructive. If he gets violent, things happen.”
Anyone with information is urged to contact the U.S. Marshals Service 24-hour line at 1-313-202-6458, 1-877-WANTED (926-8332), or the U.S. Marshals tip app.
Authorities emphasize that both Whites are considered armed and dangerous and are not to be approached.