Sheriff: Escaped inmate Casey White planned for a shootout

Morning In America

(NewsNation) —  Escaped inmate Casey White is in custody after an 11-day statewide manhunt that ended with a car chase, crash and the death of a female corrections officer who authorities say broke him out of jail.

Investigators believe corrections officer Vicky White helped capital murder suspect Casey White escape the Lauderdale County Jail in Florence, Alabama, on April 29. Authorities said the pair had a “special relationship.” Vicky White died at a hospital Monday from self-inflicted injuries.

“Their plan was faulty and it failed,” Vanderburgh County Sheriff Dave Wedding said. “Thank god.”

Casey White was booked into the Vanderburgh County Jail at 1:42 a.m. Tuesday. He was initially hospitalized for treatment of his injuries sustained in Monday’s crash. Investigators on the scene described Casey’s injuries as “not that bad” and said he was cooperating with the police.

According to Wedding, Casey White signed a waiver of extradition and is expected to be transported back to Alabama for arraignment. The date and time of his transfer will not be made public.

Wedding said “we got a lot of tips” as he detailed the surveillance and capture of the two suspects.

Investigators believe the pair spent about six days holed up at a motel in Evansville, Indiana.

Authorities believe the Whites paid a homeless man to book the motel room for them so they would stay off motel security footage.

Motel manager Paul Shah, said he never saw Casey and Vicky White, saying it was someone else who booked the room for them.

“Somebody else checked in officially and then they were visiting them technically,” Shah said.

Wedding said investigators do not believe the two had relatives or other contacts in the city of 120,000.

“They thought they’d driven long enough. They wanted to stop for a while, get their bearings straight and then figure out the next place to travel,” the sheriff said.

According to Wedding, the pair paid for a 14-day stay at a hotel one mile from where they were captured. Police were surveilling the hotel after receiving a tip.

The suspects fled the hotel and after a short chase, task force members rammed the vehicle, which then crashed into a ditch and ended up on its side.

That ditch “saved many lives,” Wedding said, as Casey White told investigators after his capture that “he was probably going to have a shootout at the stake of both of them losing their lives.”

Four semi-automatic handguns and an AR-15 rifle were recovered from their vehicle, according to Wedding, who did not know where they got the guns. Multiple wigs that were meant to be used as disguises were also found.

Inmate Casey White. (Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

After the crash, Vicky White, 56, was found with a gunshot wound to the head and was pronounced dead at a hospital, officials said. Casey White surrendered, according to Wedding.

Life-saving measures attempted on Vicky White were unsuccessful. An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, according to authorities.

“The coroner’s office will do an investigation and they will determine if it was a self-inflicted gunshot wound,” Wedding said. “The initial indication is that it was, but we won’t rule anything out until we have a thorough investigation by the coroner.”

Wedding said Casey White showed no remorse over the death of Vicky White.

The end of the manhunt left authorities trying to piece together what happened.

Authorities said the suspects purchased the 2006 Ford F-150 and drove it to Indiana, where it was then discovered at a car wash in Evansville.

The owner of the car wash tipped off investigators, but police were unsure if he’ll receive any reward money.

Officers were not certain where the suspects got the Cadillac they were driving when they were apprehended.

Along with the guns, about $29,000 in cash was found in the vehicle. That money was likely what was left over from the $95,000 court documents show Vicky White made selling her home last month, Wedding said.

As for her role in the escape, the sheriff said: “He was not forcing her. It was a mutual relationship.”

Connie Moore, Casey White’s mother, said she last spoke with him by phone the day before the escape. She said her son may not have known what was about to happen.

“Everything was just as normal as it could be. I doubt he even knew he was leaving when she came in there to get him,” Moore said.

Extra measures will be put in place to isolate Casey White from the rest of the detention center once he’s returned to Alabama, Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton said.

Casey White will be “shackled 24/7,” he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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