LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — A nationwide search continues for escaped Lauderdale County inmate Casey White, who has a lengthy criminal history and extended stays at several correctional facilities throughout the state.
Following a 2015 crime spree in two states, Casey White was arrested in Limestone County and former Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely says White spent several years in the Limestone County Jail until his conviction in 2019.
White started serving his 75-year sentence at the Donaldson Correctional Facility in Bessemer in April of 2019.
Blakely tells News 19 that White was desperate for a transfer.
“After he was in the penitentiary he wrote me several times, telling me that he could solve a murder for Lauderdale County,” recalls Mike Blakely.
In 2020 White confessed to the cold-case murder of Connie Ridgeway. She was found stabbed to death in her Rogersville home in 2015.
Authorities then transferred White to the Lauderdale County detention center for his arraignment in 2020 where he pleaded not guilty by way reason of mental disease, but White requested to stay at the Lauderdale County detention center.
Court filings say White was involved in a gang-related stabbing at Donaldson and was fearful for his life.
“It’s my understanding according to Casey he had been shanked a couple of times while there in prison. He didn’t like it down there and wanted to get back in county jail,” says Blakely.
But before White’s hearing, Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly said White was found with a shank and planning to take someone hostage and escape from the jail.
A judge ordered White to return to Donaldson prison.
Meanwhile, White’s attorneys continued to argue that he had an extensive mental health treatment history, including stays at several facilities throughout the state.
The judge ordered a mental health exam for White in December of 2020 but that exam was pushed to April 2021 because White tested positive for COVID.
Fast forward to 2022, Casey White was once again transferred from Bessemer to Lauderdale county in February for the capital murder trial of Connie Ridgeway. That trial was continued until June 2022.
White was set to be transferred back to Bessemer at the time of his escape from the Lauderdale County Jail.