(NewsNation) —Described by those who know him as a “loner,” “dangerous on drugs” but “not a sociopath,” the towering, escaped Alabama inmate Casey White is certainly one thing police say: unstable.
It’s been a week since White escaped from a detention center in Lauderdale, Alabama, allegedly with the help of correctional officer Vicky White, who it is believed had a “special” relationship with Casey White that was likely romantic.
Casey White, who stands at 6-feet-9, and weighs 330 lbs, has a history of violent criminal offenses, reported ties to a white supremacist group and is considered to be armed and dangerous by police. Those who know him describe him as mentally unstable and unpredictable.
He’s been arrested for home invasion, shootings, car chases and recently confessed to murder.
Mike Blakely, the former Limestone County Sheriff, grew up on the same side of the county as Casey White, the two graduated from the same high school and Blakely says he has known Casey since he was born.
Blakely was removed as sheriff after he was sentenced to three years in jail last summer for stealing inmates’ money. He is currently free on bond pending an appeal.
Trouble with Casey started when he was in high school, Blakely says. Drunk driving offenses were some of his first run-ins with the law. Most of the time however, Casey stuck to the rural parts of the county, keeping to himself.
But when meth would enter the equation, the mentally ill Casey White would become a different kind of trouble all together, a man who was “very dangerous” when on drugs.
“I’ve had more dealings with him where he is kind of like a teddy bear and he ain’t no problem,” Blakely said. “But when he’s high, he could be a problem. Or when he’s got voices in his head. I’ve have dealt with him on occasions where he felt like he was having voices in his head, which again part of it the mental illness, part of it the drugs he was taking.”
Blakely’s most recent interactions with Casey have all been as a law enforcement officer, where he said he has had to arrest him multiple times. He remembers encountering Casey the night he was arrested that ultimately landed him 75 years behind bars.
A call game in to Blakely’s office there had been a shooting on the north end of Limestone County. When he arrived on the scene he learned that Casey had gone to his girlfriends house and fired a gun at her and two men sitting on her couch. Everyone escaped without being shot except for the woman’s dog who Casey shot and killed.
Casey then went next door and robbed the neighbor of his car keys and wallet, Blakely said. He drove North before stopping at a welcome center where he tried to steal another vehicle. When the couple in the vehicle tried to drive away, Casey shot into their car, hitting the woman.
He returned to the car he had stolen and continued North. Eventually he came to a gas station where he asked a man fueling his car if he could bum a cigarette. The man obliged at which moment Casey put a gun in his face and told him he needed his car. The man gave Casey his car and as Casey was driving off, the man began to holler for his cell phone.
Casey backed up, gave the man his cell phone and went back south into Limestone County. This is where he was spotted by a sheriff’s deputy who began to pursue him.
After a brief car chase, Casey wrecked his vehicle.
When Blakely arrived on the scene, officers had their guns drawn on Casey who was standing in the middle of the road with two .40 caliber Glock pistols, one pressed against each of his temples.
Casey was threatening to kill himself and told police he was going to make sure they killed him.
He eventually surrendered and was taken to the Limestone County jail where he remained for a few years. While in jail, Casey confessed to stabbing Connie Ridgeway to death and was awaiting trial for the case.
Blakely said they never had a problem with Casey while he was in the jail, even serving as a jail trustee for a time — that is as long as Casey was taking his medication. If he did not, “he could be quite the handful,” Blakely said.
Casey suffers from mental illness, which is why he was prescribed medication in jail.
Out on the streets, Blakely says Casey would self-medicate using meth or whatever other drug he could get his hands on. On a few occasions, Casey checked himself into the emergency room seeking help.
“He was someone who probably couldn’t function very well out on his own,” Blakely said. “As a matter of fact he had even told me once or twice that he had a hard time dealing with life out on the street.”
Now that Casey White escaped from prison with the help of Vicky White, Blakely said he does not know what could be next for the couple. They could be “living happily ever after in Mexico” for all Blakely knows.
But, if the two part ways and things get disrupted, Blakely believes Casey will return to Limestone County.
Blakely can’t say for certain whether or not Vicky White is in danger with Casey, but he did say if she was “it was by her own fruition” because “she knew what he was.”
“It depends on if Casey is happy, she’s probably happy too,” Blakely said. “But if he gets waxed out on meth and something don’t go his way then if she doesn’t know how to handle him then yeah anybody could be in danger around him if he’s tweaked out and they don’t give him his space.”