(NewsNation) — “He’s dangerous. He’s unpredictable. You don’t know what he might do.” That’s what a concerned Alabama sheriff has to say to one of his corrections officers on the run who is accused of helping a capital murder suspect escape jail.
Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton is talking about Casey White, an inmate who comes with quite the rap sheet. White reportedly confessed to murdering a 58-year-old woman in 2020 and was convicted of a crime spree in 2015 including a home invasion, carjacking and police chase. The inmate, standing at 6 feet, 9 inches tall, was awaiting trial in the Lauderdale County Detention Center when he escaped with Vicky White, the assistant director of corrections, April 29.
Vicky White told colleagues she was taking Casey White to a mental evaluation at the courthouse in Florence, Alabama. No such evaluation was on the docket.
While Casey White was no stranger to law enforcement, as the manhunt continues for the duo, authorities are discovering he was especially not a stranger to Vicky White. Singleton said the pair shared a “special relationship” that often involved extra favors such as more food and attention than the other inmates.
“We have confirmed that they did communicate with each other including personal visits from while he was in the state prison between the time he was here for his arraignment and the time he returned here in February,” Singleton said.
Investigators believe Vicky White and Casey White had an ongoing relationship for the last two years, right under their noses.
While appearing Wednesday on “Dan Abrams Live,” Singleton explained: “Casey White was in our facility for arraignment in 2020. He was transported back to the Department of Corrections after that arraignment. He was returned here February 25 of this year, for court appearances and for his trial. We do know now that there was a relationship between 2020 and 2022. Vicky White visited Casey White in prison during that span of time, more than once, I don’t know exactly how many times. But we do know that she did stay in touch with him from the time he left our facility in 2020 until he returned in February this year.”
In the days following the escape, shocking details have been unveiled about the duo’s relationship and how the plan to escape may have unfolded, fooling so many who knew them best. Singleton says it’s like a member of the family gone, with many of White’s colleagues going through a range of emotions.
“Well, it’s been an emotional roller coaster, to tell you the truth. You know, I think for the first two or three days, we were hoping that if he didn’t take her by force that she arranged this or participated in it, maybe she’d been threatened or coerced for some reason to help him escape. And we were, I guess, grasping at straws, hoping maybe that was going to be the outcome. But it’s very obvious now that that’s not the case, that she was a willing participant. They had a relationship,” Singleton said.
For Singleton, his department of 107 employees and 42 corrections deputies is like a close-knit family. While some are frustrated with Vicky White’s actions, their overarching sentiment is wanting her to be safe and away from Casey White.
“He’s facing the possibility of the death penalty. He’s wanted for capital murder. Her safety is at risk. Our concern is that she becomes a hindrance to him, a liability to him, that he’s capable of doing anything. We’re obviously concerned for her safety and I agree with his ex. The best thing Vicky can do is run,” Singleton warned. “Go to the nearest phone and call 911 and turn yourself in. Protect yourself, at least your life. She’s at risk.”
Based on a timeline of April 29 provided by the sheriff’s office, Vicky White and Casey White had a nearly six-hour head start over authorities before their escape was on the radar. The U.S. Marshals Services believes they may be traveling in a 2007 orange or copper colored Ford Edge with minor damage to the rear left bumper.
Investigators say Casey White and Vicky White are believed to be armed and dangerous, carrying a shotgun and an AR-15-style rifle. Anyone who sees the pair is urged not to approach them, but instead call 911 immediately.