by Kim Chandler
A former Alabama prison officer and murder suspect accused of helping him escape from custody was arrested Monday in Indiana after more than a week, law enforcement officials said.
Officials said two fugitives were caught in Evansville, Indiana, after a US marshal followed and then crashed into their vehicle. Officials said Casey White, 38, surrendered and Vicky White, 56, shot himself and was taken to hospital.
“It has ended a very long and stressful and challenging week and a half. It ended the way we knew it would be. They are in custody,” said Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton of Alabama.
The arrest of the pair, who are not related, ended a nationwide search that began on April 29, when Vicky White, assistant director of corrections for prisons in Lauderdale County, allegedly helped engineer Casey White’s escape, who was awaiting trial in one. Capital homicide Vicky White had told coworkers that she was taking the prisoner from prison to the courthouse for a mental health evaluation, but the two fled the area instead.
The car they took off was later abandoned in Tennessee, but the pair were not found until a tip on Sunday from the US Marshals that surveillance photos from the Evansville car wash showed a man It bears a resemblance to Casey White, a 2006 Ford F-150 pickup truck, said Marshall Service.
Vanderburgh County Sheriff Dave Wedding in Indiana said Monday that officers learned the couple had been seen near the sheriff’s office. He said that as soon as officers arrived, the couple fled in a vehicle and were chased by police. “The US marshals collided with him to try to end the chase,” he said. He stated that Casey White was injured, not very seriously, in the ensuing accident and that Vicky White then shot himself, causing “very serious” injuries.
“We are lucky that no law enforcement was injured, no innocent civilians were injured, the chase was short in nature and we are both 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.
“We found a dangerous man on the street today. He’s never going to see daylight again. It’s a good thing, not just for our community. It’s a good thing for our country,” Singleton said.
A warrant was issued on May 2 for Vicky Sue White accusing him of allowing or facilitating an escape in the first degree.
Vicky White’s family members and colleagues said they were shocked by her involvement. Singleton said that, in retrospect, it appeared that the plan had been in the works for some time. Prison inmates said the two had a special relationship and that he treated Casey White better than other inmates. He had recently sold his home and bought what would become the getaway car that authorities later abandoned in Tennessee.
“This escape was clearly planned and calculated. It took a lot of preparation. They had a lot of resources, cash, vehicles,” Singleton said.
Investigators believe the pickup truck was stolen at the Casey White Car Wash in Tennessee and then drove about 175 miles (280 kilometers) to Evansville, a law enforcement official told the Associated Press. Officials could not discuss the details of the investigation publicly and spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
The Marshall Service said federal and local law enforcement officials also learned that Casey White had threatened to kill his ex-girlfriend and her sister in 2015, saying that “he wanted the police to kill him.” Investigators said they are in touch with him about the threats and are taking measures to ensure his safety.
Associated Press writer Mike Balsamo contributed from Washington.