The prison officer who more than a week ago escaped with an inmate from a prison in Alabama She has died after shooting herself after being detained on Monday, authorities said.
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The victim, identified as Vicky White, 56, thus increased the mystery of why a respected police officer would have left her impeccable career aside to help Casey White, 38, a criminal with an extensive criminal record. violent.
The two fugitives were captured after a tristate chase in Evansville, Indiana, when pursuing U.S. Marshals Department vehicles collided with their getaway car, authorities said. Casey White turned herself in, but Vicky White shot herself and was taken to a hospital, they added.
Vanderburgh County Colonel Steve Lockyear later reported that the officer had died of her injuries.
Before Vicky’s death, the authorities had celebrated the capture of both fugitives.
“Today we take a dangerous man off the streets. He will never see the light of day again. That’s a good thing, not just for our community but for our country,” Rick Singleton, Lauderdale County Sheriff, had said earlier.
The manhunt began on April 29 when Vicky White, deputy director of corrections at the Lauderdale County jail, allegedly helped plan the escape of Casey White, who was awaiting trial in a murder case. Vicky White had told her co-workers that she would be taking the inmate out of jail for a mental health evaluation at the courthouse, but the two, who are not related, fled the area.
The car they took was later found abandoned in Tennessee, but there was no trace of the couple until police received a tip Sunday that surveillance cameras at an Evansville car wash showed a man who looked very similar. Casey White getting out of a 2006 Ford F-06.
White is 2.06 meters tall and weighs about 118 kilograms.
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Authorities learned Monday that the couple had been seen near Vanderburgh County, Indiana, Sheriff Dave Wedding said. When officers arrived, the couple fled in a vehicle and led police on a chase, he added. Police patrols collided with them “to try to put an end to the persecution,” the police chief explained. Casey White was injured, not too seriously, in the accident and Vicky White shot herself, causing “very serious” injuries.
“We are lucky that no law enforcement officers were injured, no innocent civilians were injured, the chase was brief, and we have both individuals in custody,” Wedding said.
Casey White was serving a 75-year sentence for attempted murder and other charges at the time of his escape. He was awaiting trial for the stabbing of a 58-year-old woman during a robbery in 2015. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.
Federal and local officials also learned that Casey White threatened to kill his ex-girlfriend and her sister in 2015, saying he “wanted the police to kill him,” according to the Marshals Service.
A warrant was issued against Vicky Sue White on May 2 charging her with allowing or facilitating first degree elopement.
Before her death was announced, the Alabama sheriff said he hoped to get answers from a once-trusted officer about his actions, but acknowledged those answers might not come. “I had all my trust in Vicky White. She has been an exemplary employee. What the hell provoked her, prompted her to do something like that? I don’t know. I don’t know if we’ll ever know,” Singleton said.
Family members and co-workers of Vicky White said they were stunned by her involvement. Singleton said it seemed like the plan had been in the works for some time. Inmates said the two had a special relationship and that she gave Casey White better treatment than other inmates.
In recent months, he purchased a rifle and shotgun and was also known to have a pistol, U.S. Marshal Marty Keely said.
He sold his house for about half the market value and bought an orange 2007 Ford Edge that he hid in a strip mall with no license plates.
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“This escape was obviously well planned and calculated. A lot of preparation went into this. They had a lot of resources, cash, vehicles,” Singleton said.
The leak occurred on what Vicky White said would be her last day on the job. She told her coworkers that Casey White had a mental health evaluation at the courthouse, but none was scheduled. She did not have a second officer to accompany them, which was against jail policy.
The video showed the couple going from the jail to the mall, where they picked up the Ford and left, Singleton said. His escape was not discovered until several hours later.
Investigators believe the van Casey White had at the car wash was stolen in Tennessee and then driven about 175 miles to Evansville, an officer told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.