The convicted felon whose time on the run ended with his prison-guard girlfriend shooting herself in the head on Monday night was distraught at the death of his lover, his mother said.
Casey White, 38, escaped jail with the former assistant director of corrections Vicki White late last month. The pair spent 11 days together on the run from authorities until a police chase ended with Vicki fatally shooting herself.
White’s mother, Connie Moore, told the Daily Mail that her son was deeply in love with the prison guard, with whom he had a secret phone relationship for at least two years, and had even started referring to her as his wife.
“I spoke to him yesterday and he was crying and saying he couldn’t believe she was gone,” Moore said. She said she believed Vicki was “really, really good to him–just being there for him, talking with him. They had a real thing.”
White is incarcerated in a Lauderdale County, Alabama jail awaiting trial on charges of capital murder after confessing to killing 59-year-old Connie Ridgeway. He was previously convicted of attempted murder and robbery after trying to kill his ex-girlfriend and kidnapping her roommates in 2015.
But his mother said her son was “a very good person” who was simply misunderstood.
“Casey is not the monster that they’ve posted him to be,” she said, adding that his trouble stemmed largely from drugs and bad choices in women.
“All of the women he’s been with have emotional problems and Casey has a big heart and just wants to help people,” she said.
Investigators in Limestone County, Alabama, are currently re-examining the case of another of White’s ex-girlfriends, who authorities previously ruled had killed herself in Feb. 2008. Now, her family is wondering whether her death was really a suicide, or whether White had something to do with it.
The woman, Christy Lynn Shelton McKee, had been dating White for about a year when she died from a gunshot to the chest at age 31 while staying in White’s trailer. Investigators at the time said they found no blood on White’s clothing and that he appeared upset over her death.
McKee suffered from drug addiction and was distraught at having her children taken from her by child protective services. But her brother, Tyler Rolin, told AL.com he never believed his sister had killed herself.
“It was just all too much–a woman killing herself with a sawed-off shotgun?’’ Rolin said, adding that his sister was contemplating ending things with White around the time of her death.
“The police said he was crying and very hysterical and I don’t doubt that one bit because I know he can turn it on,’’ Rolin added. “He’s a master manipulator.”
Authorities also briefly questioned whether the felon had been the one to pull the trigger in Vicki White’s death. The two were camped out in a cheap Indiana motel room when police found them Monday, setting off a high-speed chase that ended with the criminal’s Cadillac flipped over in a ditch.
In a 911 recording of the incident, Vicki White can be heard saying “Oh my God,” and “Let’s get out and run!” before shrieking several times and falling silent. Officers who approached the car can be heard saying, “She’s got a gun in her hand!” and “She’s got her finger on the trigger!” before noting that she did not appear to be conscious.
After the chase, Casey White was extradited back to Lauderdale County to face his existing murder charges, while Vicki White was taken to a hospital where she later died. The Vanderburgh County, Indiana coroner’s office ruled her death a suicide on Thursday.
Vicki was a 25-year employee of the Lauderdale County corrections department who had a spotless record until she engineered White’s escape on April 29. Coworkers were shocked to learn she had carried on a years-long relationship with the inmate and snuck him out under the guise of a fake mental health evaluation.
Asked if she had a message for Vicki’s grieving family, Casey’s mother told the Daily Mail, 'I would just say I’m very sorry about it and from all that I’ve heard from Casey and from everyone she was a very good person.”
She added, “I just hate it with all my heart that it happened.”