Casey White, the Alabama inmate who made international headlines when he escaped from jail with the help of former prison guard Vicky White (no relation), has been charged with murder in the prison official’s death.
On Tuesday, Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly confirmed that Casey, 38, has been indicted on a count of felony murder.
“During the course of and in furtherance of committing Escape in the First Degree, White caused the death of Vicky White, who died from a gunshot to the head,” the district attorney said in a statement.
After more than a week-long national manhunt, officials discovered Casey and Vicky in Indiana. Following a car chase with police, officials said Vicky, 56, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head after a vehicle crash.
Vicky later died in hospital. Casey surrendered to police at the scene of the crash.
The indictment and statement released by Connolly did not indicate that Casey shot Vicky. However, according to Alabama state law, a person can be charged with felony murder when they are committing certain felonies, or when someone is fleeing the scene of a crime and causes a person’s death.
Local news station WHNT reported Casey and Vicky had agreed to a “suicide pact” if they encountered a shootout with police.
Before her death, Vicky was the assistant director of corrections at the Lauderdale County Jail in northwest Alabama, where Casey was housed as an inmate. The day of his escape was Vicky’s last day at work, as she had put in her notice to retire shortly before. She also sold her house a month prior.
On April 29, Vicky and Casey left the Lauderdale County Jail under the guise of a bogus medical evaluation for the inmate. Police later discovered there was no such appointment.
Officials have said they believe Casey and Vicky were in a two-year-long relationship.
As a manhunt for the fugitives went underway, authorities learned the pair changed vehicles and hid in an Indiana motel more than 320 kilometres away from the jail.
After the police pursuit resulted in capture of Casey, authorities found US$29,000 (about CDN$37,775) in cash and several guns in the car.
Casey was serving a 75-year prison sentence for several charges, including attempted murder and burglary. He was also awaiting trial for an additional charge of capital murder in the 2020 stabbing death of a 58-year-old woman — a crime to which he confessed.