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‘Gunshot Wound to the Head’: Inmate Indicted in Alleged Murder of Guard Who Helped Him Escape from Alabama Jail

Casey Cole White (L) and Vicky White (R)

Casey Cole White (L) and Vicky White (R).

An Alabama inmate who escaped from custody via the help of a longtime jail guard has been indicted on a count of felony murder, according to court paperwork obtained by Law&Crime on Tuesday.

Alabama sheriff’s deputy Vicky White, 56, had a “special relationship,” with murder suspect Casey Cole White, 38, before helping him escape from custody, authorities said not long after the duo absconded back in late May and triggered a nationwide manhunt.

Despite carrying the same common last name, the two were not apparently related.

Vicky White died after law enforcement authorities say they closed in on the pair in the Evansville, Indiana area on May 9.  Vanderburgh County, Indiana Sheriff Dave Wedding said at the time that the former corrections officer shot herself sometime near the end of the pursuit or immediately after the vehicle in which she and the inmate were riding crashed into a ditch.

According to Indianapolis FOX affiliate WXIN, the sheriff said it was immediately unclear where Vicky White had shot herself.

Sheriff Wedding said at the time that the police chase on May 9 was brief.

“From the time we initiated pursuit until the time it ended was less than a few minutes,” Wedding told reporters in the Hoosier State.

The pair had ditched their initial getaway vehicle in the Bethesda area of Williamson County in Tennessee, Law&Crime previously reported.

An image provided by the Williamson County, Tenn. Sheriff's Office shows the 2007 Ford Edge that Vicky and Casey White allegedly drove during the early hours of their escape.

An image provided by the Williamson County, Tenn. Sheriff’s Office shows the 2007 Ford Edge that Vicky and Casey White allegedly drove during the early hours of their escape.

The initial getaway vehicle turned up around 11:00 p.m. on May 5 at a towing yard and showed signs of having been spray painted.

Two images provided by the Lauderdale Co., Ala Sheriff's Office show green spray paint on portions of Vicky White's Ford SUV.

Two images provided by the Lauderdale Co., Ala Sheriff’s Office show green spray paint on portions of Vicky White’s Ford SUV.

The Lauderdale County, Alabama indictment released on Tuesday heaps legal blame for the gunshot on Casey White.  The legal premise at play is the longstanding doctrine of felony murder:  if someone dies during the commission of a felony, then blame for the death can be spread among those engaged in the commission of the underlying felony.

The indictment document itself explains the situation like this:  “Casey Cole White, a convicted felon . . . did commit the crime of Escape in the First Degree . . . and in the course of and in furtherance of committing Escape in the First Degree, caused the death of Vicky White who died from a gunshot to the head.”

The indictment itself does not directly explain who pulled the trigger.

Mark McDaniel, a member of Casey White’s defense team, released the following statement:

Casey White will enter a Plea of Not Guilty to the Charge of Felony Murder at his arraignment. The Defense Team will file a number of Pre-Trial Motions including a Motion for the State to Provide the Defense Team with a copy of the Autopsy of Vicky White. After receiving the results of the Autopsy, the Defense Team will file additional motions stating the relief sought.

Casey White was incarcerated on capital murder charges for allegedly stabbing Connie Jane Ridgeway, 59, to death in a 2015 murder-for-hire plot. That case has not been adjudicated. He was also serving a 75-year sentence in another crime span spanning several states.

A copy of the indictment is below.

[Editor’s note:  Vicky White’s name was given as “Vicki” White in early reports.]

[Image of Casey White via mugshot; image of Vicky White via official portrait.]

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Aaron Keller holds a juris doctor degree from the University of New Hampshire School of Law and a broadcast journalism degree from Syracuse University. He is a former anchor and executive producer for the Law&Crime Network and is now deputy editor-in-chief for the Law&Crime website. DISCLAIMER:  This website is for general informational purposes only. You should not rely on it for legal advice. Reading this site or interacting with the author via this site does not create an attorney-client relationship. This website is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. Speak to a competent lawyer in your jurisdiction for legal advice and representation relevant to your situation.