Alabama cops searching for sheriff’s deputy who made unauthorised transport of convicted murderer
Alabama officials discovered the abandoned car of a corrections officer who violated department policy when she picked up a capital murder suspect for a mental health evaluation, which her co-workers later discovered was never scheduled.
At a news conference Saturday night, Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton announced that Vicky White’s official vehicle, a 2013 Ford Taurus patrol car, was seen in a shopping center parking lot around 11 p.m. Friday am.
Just an hour and a half earlier, Singleton said, Vicky, the department’s deputy director of corrections, broke protocol when she picked up 38-year-old Casey Cole White from a detention center without other officers present.
She had her 9mm pistol with her at the time and told others that she needed to take Casey White, who is not related to her, for a mental health evaluation before a scheduled court hearing. However, there is no such evaluation scheduled for that day.
Casey was facing the death penalty for the October 2015 murder of 58-year-old Connie Ridgeway at her home in Rogersville, Alabama.
But under Sheriff’s Department policy, Singleton said, two sworn deputies should have been with Casey at all times, including during transportation to court or mental health evaluations.
And since Vicki coordinated all transports from the detention center, Singleton said, she would have known about this protocol, but her subordinates probably wouldn’t have questioned her because of her seniority.
“Every precaution was taken,” Singleton told reporters on Saturday night. “The question we have for Principal White is why did she violate the policy?”
Vicky White, deputy director of corrections for the sheriff’s department, went missing Friday night after picking up Casey Cole White (no relation) from prison.
Lauderdale Sheriff Rick Singleton announced Saturday that Vicky’s patrol car was found abandoned in a parking lot about an hour and a half after he “broke protocol” to transport Casey.
Vicky had been with the Sheriff’s Department for 25 years and had recently spoken about retiring, she said, with Law and Crime reporting that he had turned in his retirement papers on Thursday.
Singleton said he and his aides were “shocked and in disbelief” at her disappearance, noting that she has been an exemplary employee and was named Supervisor of the Year.
Officers now believe that Vicky was abducted against her will, but will continue to investigate any interactions between her and Casey White, as well as any phone calls she may have received.
“Knowing the inmate, I think she is in danger, whatever the circumstances,” Singleton said. She was in jail for capital murder and had nothing to lose.
“Whether she helped him or not, we don’t know and we won’t address it until we have absolute proof of what happened,” he added, noting: “We assume at this point that she was abducted against her will.” unless we can prove otherwise.
The FBI and US Marshals are now also helping the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency track down the couple.
Connie Ridgeway is pictured with her sons Austin and Cameron. She was murdered in October 2015 in what her killer said was a contract hit. No reason has ever been given.
Singleton said Saturday that Sheriff’s Department officials became suspicious around 3:30 pm Friday, when jail officers realized Vicky had never returned.
They tried to call her repeatedly, she said, but her phone was still on voice mail.
That’s when they realized that Casey had never been back in jail.
He is described as being six foot nine, and is considered armed and dangerous.
Casey was first arrested in December 2015, for the October slaying of Ridgeway, who was found stabbed to death in a murder that shocked the small town of Rogersville, about 50 miles west of Huntsville.
It is not clear why she was killed.
People said she was known for her kindness and willingness to help others, and the community for many years held a vigil every October in her memory.
Casey’s arrest at the age of 32 finally came after he became involved in a crime spree in Tennessee and Alabama.
In one night, he staged a home invasion, two carjackings and multiple shootings that left a dog dead and a woman injured.
The crimes were followed by a chase, where speeds reached over 100 miles per hour, WHERE informed.
He ended up with a stolen car stuck in a field south of Huntsville, and the officers, who were evidently well known to him, pleaded with him to drop the gun and turn himself in.
White got out of the vehicle with a gun and threatened to shoot himself and the officers unless he could talk to Limestone Sheriff Mike Blakely.
Body camera footage shows officers trying to get White to surrender by offering him smokeless tobacco and Sun Drop citrus soda while they waited for Blakely to arrive.
Police appear in December 2015 taking Casey White into custody after a wild rampage in Tennessee and Alabama that ended in a 100 mph car chase, and his stolen car got stuck in a field.
White is seen during the hearing in the 2020 Ridgeway murder case
Casey White was found guilty on a total of nine counts, including attempting to kill his ex-girlfriend and kidnapping his two roommates. Other charges included robbery in the first degree, robbery in the first degree, robbery in the third degree, breaking and entering a vehicle, animal cruelty for shooting a dog and trying to elude it.
He was sentenced in April 2019 to 75 years in prison.
In June 2020, he wrote to Lauderdale County requesting a meeting with the sheriff’s office and confessed to killing Ridgeway, providing a detailed description of the crime scene.
He said he was paid to kill her, although no motive for hiring a hitman has ever been revealed.
In October 2020, 37-year-old Casey White appeared in court for an arraignment hearing and requested to remain in the Lauderdale County Jail rather than return to prison. WAFF informed.
His request was denied, after authorities said they believed he was conspiring to escape from the Lauderdale County Jail.
They had found a makeshift knife, hidden in the showers, and suspected that White intended to use it to force someone to let him out.
“Yesterday we received information that he had shanked and intended to escape today and take a hostage,” Lauderdale County District Attorney Connolly said during the hearing.
‘Our deputies did a great job.
“I found the handle and removed that threat this morning, so obviously we’re not equipped to house someone like that for that long in our jail, which is why we’re happy the judge ordered him back into the corrections department.”
White, having confessed, later pleaded not guilty, due to insanity.