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Murder Trials For Once-Escaped Alabama Inmate Casey White Scheduled
Casey White was serving a 75-year prison sentence when he allegedly confessed to Connie Ridgeway's 2015 murder and then escaped with corrections officer Vicky White, who ultimately died by suicide.
The accused killer who made national news for escaping an Alabama jail is slated to go to trial twice in 2023.
Casey Cole White, 38, was already facing trial for the 2015 fatal stabbing of Connie Ridgeway, 58, when he escaped the Lauderdale County jail in Alabama on April 29. Investigators believe he made his brazen escape with the help of corrections director Vicky White, 56, with whom Casey White was allegedly in a “special relationship.”
A nationwide manhunt ensued, dramatically concluding 11 days later with a car crash on May 9 in Evansville, Indiana, just before Vicky White took her own life as authorities closed in.
The Lauderdale County District Attorney’s Office has since alleged Casey “caused the death of Vicky White” and charged him with her murder. White has pleaded not guilty to felony murder during an escape in the first degree.
Circuit Court Judge Benjamin Graves on Tuesday ordered Casey be tried by a jury for Vicky’s death in a trial to begin on April 17, 2023, in a court brief reviewed by Oxygen.com.
He was also scheduled for a jury trial in Ridgeway’s capital murder case on June 12, 2023. White previously pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease in that case. Prosecutors have stated that after “consultation with Connie Ridgeway’s sons,” they would not be seeking the death penalty in either case.
Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly told Oxygen.com he could not comment on the recent filing.
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Casey White's existing 75-year sentence stems from his conviction for a multi-state 2015 crime spree that netted him a variety of charges, including kidnapping and attempted murder.
Five years into his sentence, Casey allegedly penned a letter to investigators confessing to the unsolved October 2015 murder of Ridgeway, who was found stabbed to death on the living room floor of her Rogersville, Alabama apartment.
Casey White and Vicky White allegedly began their relationship in 2020, after Casey was transferred from a state prison to the Lauderdale County jail for an arraignment related to Ridgeway’s murder, according to Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton.
Singleton later revealed the two Whites shared nearly 1,000 phone calls between August 2021 and February 2022 while Casey was housed at the William E. Donaldson Correctional Facility in Bessemer, Alabama.
On April 29, authorities say Vicky White — on her last day before retirement— helped Casey White escape the jail after Vicky told colleagues she had to take Casey for a mental health evaluation.
Authorities say no such appointment existed.
U.S. Marshals kept the public apprised of their efforts to locate the couple, including when authorities found their suspected getaway vehicle in Tennessee. Ultimately, federal officials were tipped off by an Evansville car wash owner who spotted the couple with a Ford pickup truck believed to have been stolen in Tennessee.
Authorities found the couple at an Indiana motel and gave chase after the Whites attempted to flee in a Cadillac with Casey White behind the wheel. U.S. Marshals attempted a pit maneuver to stop the Cadillac, resulting in the car flipping over into a ditch.
Vicky White — whose final moments were captured on a chaotic 911 call — allegedly shot herself in the head as authorities approached the vehicle. Casey White was taken into custody.
In September, Casey’s defense filed a request to have him moved from the Bessemer facility to the Cullman County Jail, so as to better prepare for the murder trial connected to Ridgeway.
Casey’s defense pulled their request weeks later, stating, “housing Mr. White at the Cullman County jail is no longer a viable option for the defendant and is therefore moot,” per court records reviewed by NBC Huntsville, Alabama affiliate WAFF-TV.
Casey White is scheduled to appear at the Lauderdale County courthouse on Feb. 16 for a status conference, according to the recent filing.