The Alabama jail boss who allegedly absconded with a capital murder suspect had a “special relationship” with the inmate, police said Tuesday.
Vicki White, the assistant director of corrections for Lauderdale County, had gotten cozy with inmate Casey Cole White during her shifts at the rural jail and at some point developed the so-called “special relationship,” the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office said.
“Investigators received information from inmates at the Lauderdale County Detention Center over the weekend that there was a special relationship between Director White and inmate Casey White,” the agency said.
“That relationship has now been confirmed through our investigation by independent sources and means.”
The sheriff’s office declined to expound on what it meant by “special relationship” but on Monday, it announced a warrant for Vicki White’s arrest for permitting or facilitating escape in the first degree.
“We know she participated, whether she did that willingly or if she was coerced, threatened somehow to participate in the case, not really sure. We know for sure she did participate,” Sheriff Rick Singleton said at a press conference.
On Friday morning, Vicki White told staff she was taking the detainee to a mental health evaluation at the county courthouse and wasn’t questioned about it because her primary duty was to transport inmates, Singleton said.
When cops realized they were missing, they discovered there was no such appointment at the courthouse and the pair made no effort to go to the building, instead, ditching their car at a nearby shopping center parking lot and disappearing.
The saga is reminiscent of David Sweat and Richard Matt’s 2015 escape from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York, after the men got romantically involved with prison employee Joyce “Tilly” Mitchell and convinced her to help them escape.
The US Marshals Service has offered a $10,000 reward for any information that leads to Casey White’s capture.
“We consider both of them dangerous and in all probability both of them are armed,” US Marshal Marty Keely said at the press conference.
The inmate was charged with two counts of capital murder in September 2020 after he allegedly stabbed Connie Ridgeway, 58, to death, officials said.
He’d already been serving a 75-year sentence for a 2015 crime spree in which he shot a person and a dog and held another five people at gunpoint, WBRC reported.
Singleton told CNN that Vicki White was a “model” employee and her co-workers are “devastated” by her alleged betrayal.
“I guess we’re trying to hold on to that last straw of hope that maybe for some reason she was threatened and did this under coercion … but absolutely you’d feel betrayed,” Singleton told the outlet.
“All of her co-workers are devastated. We’ve never had any situation like this with Vicki White. She was a model employee.”