LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — The lawyers for Casey White have laid out a potential defense in the case ahead of trial, according to recent court documents – one angle being that White was in the “care and custody” of corrections officer Vicky White throughout the entire 11-day nationwide manhunt.
Authorities confirmed during the manhunt that Vicky White and Casey White, unrelated, did appear to have a “jailhouse romance.” The defense noted that Casey White was arrested after Vicky White allegedly took her own life shortly after a police pursuit ended the manhunt in Evansville, Indiana.
Casey White was serving a 75-year prison sentence for attempted murder along with other crimes and was awaiting his jury trial when he left the Lauderdale County Detention Center with Vicky White on April 29. It would later be found that day was the last one Vicky was scheduled to work before retiring.
Video surveillance showed the two exiting the building, as Vicky White puts Casey White into the back of a waiting patrol car and drove to an alleged mental evaluation at the nearby courthouse.
In the recently filed motion asking for a change of venue, White’s defense laid out the reasoning behind the request, saying the case has received national and international attention. They stated, “It would take a resident living in a dwelling without access to electricity or communication from the outside world for the last month to not know a significant amount of information about the Defendant, his capital murder case, and his other legal matters.”
Because the case was covered extensively across local and national news outlets, along with Facebook groups with thousands of members that tossed around “facts” of the case, the defense stated, all lent reasoning to move the case out of Lauderdale County. Casey White’s attorney mentioned several times throughout the motion how all of the publicity has “severely prejudiced” White.
Judge Benjamin Graves has not yet ruled on the motion to change the venue for the case, but the court did approve a motion to postpone the murder trial in the 2015 death of Connie Ridgeway until December of this year.
Among a flurry of motions filed last week, the defense requested a judge to throw out Casey White’s 2020 confession to the crime while he was in state prison.
The defense filed a motion to suppress statements White made to law enforcement officials and any evidence that was collected based on those statements. The court documents state he had not been advised of his Miranda rights at that time.
A second motion to suppress focused specifically on White’s written and oral statements, specifically those made in violation of his privilege against self-incrimination and a right to counsel, when they led to an “unlawful arrest,” and when they violated his right to privacy.
A preliminary hearing for White on the escape charge has been set for June 20.