A CORRECTIONS officer who vanished alongside a capital murder suspect appears to have actively helped in the escape by faking a court appointment, a sheriff has said.
Vicky White told jail employees to prepare the inmate for transport to the courthouse for a mental health evaluation, but no such appointment was scheduled, Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton said.
She also told co-workers she wasn’t feeling well and planned to get medical attention after dropping him off, but officials said there was no evidence of this appointment either.
But the sheriff said it remains unclear if the officer helped the inmate escape voluntarily or if was coerced.
“The question is: did she do so willingly or was she coerced into doing it by inmate White by threatening her and/or her family or other means,” the Lauderdale County sheriff’s office said in a statement.
Singleton said Friday that officer White had been an "exemplary employee" for 16 years.
The officer and suspect, who are not related, left the jail at about 9.30am, and no one realized the two were missing until around 3.30pm, AL.com reports.
The vehicle that the two left the detention center in was found in the parking lot of a local shopping center, and police found no evidence when searching the car.
Casey Cole White was being held on capital murder charges, and has multiple prior convictions.
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In December 2015, police arrested Casey White after authorities determined that "he staged, in one night, a home invasion, two carjackings and multiple shootings in North Alabama and South Tennessee that left a dog dead and a woman injured," AL.com reports.
He was eventually found guilty in 2019 of nine charges, including crimes such as attempting to murder his ex-girlfriend and kidnapping her two roommates.
He was most recently charged with two counts of capital murder in 2020 for a murder-for-hire scheme that resulted in the death of Connie Jane Ridgeway, who was 59 years old.
Rogersville police found Ridgeway dead in her living room in October 2015 after receiving a call for a welfare check.
Casey Cole White was already serving a 75-year sentence for his 2015 crime spree when authorities connected him to Ridgeway's murder in 2020.
He was charged with first-degree burglary and murder for pecuniary gain, meaning he was paid to slay Ridgeway.
Casey White allegedly confessed to his crimes against Ridgeway in 2020.