FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) — The much-anticipated murder trial of Casey White in the death of Vicky White was set for June 12, but it will not happen due to his guilty plea to a lesser charge Thursday.
However, Casey White still has a busy court calendar. He is facing sentencing after Thursday’s plea and he is set to go on trial for capital murder on Aug. 14 in the 2015 stabbing death of Connie Ridgeway in Rogersville.
Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly told News 19 Friday there has been no discussion of a plea in that case. Connolly said the jury pool is likely to be of similar size — 500-600 people — to what was planned for the felony murder case.
Casey White’s lawyers said they were surprised by his decision to plead guilty to first-degree escape Thursday. The plea agreement drops the felony murder charge he was facing for the death of Vicky White, but he still appears to be facing a stiff sentence in the case, according to court records.
Victy White was the Lauderdale County jail’s assistant director of corrections when she helped him escape. That escape set off a national manhunt that ended 11 days later in Evansville, Ind.
As officers were closing in on the pair during a car chase, Vicky White died by suicide, according to law enforcement officials.
Casey White was charged with felony murder in her death. The felony murder charge was based on the idea that her death occurred while he was committing a crime – escaping from jail – so he is responsible for her death.
White’s plea to first-degree escape rather than felony murder is to a lesser charge, but he appears to be looking at a similar sentence. The plea agreement notes that White had seven prior felony convictions from a 2015 crime spree in Limestone County, including attempted murder and kidnapping. The plea agreement says that as a habitual offender he is to be sentenced to life in prison, records show. The plea agreement also orders that he have no direct or indirect contact with Vicky White’s family.
White is already serving a 75-year sentence for the Limestone County convictions.
Court records also show there was a mental health evaluation performed on Casey White in 2018, prior to his Limestone County trial. The records show doctors evaluated his mental state and competency to stand trial. Prosecutors said today those reports have been turned over to the defense for the upcoming capital murder trial.