An Alabama Corrections official and an inmate she allegedly helped escape were taken into custody after the duo disappeared in late April.
On Monday, U.S. Marshals in Evansville, Indiana, pursued a Ford pickup truck driven by fugitive Casey White, with Corrections Officer Vicky White as a passenger, the authorities said at a press conference. The truck was wrecked during the chase. Casey White surrendered and Vicky White was taken to hospital for treatment after a self-inflicted gunshot wound, CNN reports.
“This ended a very long, stressful and difficult week and a half,” authorities said, adding that they were grateful no one else was hurt “following this escape.”
Vicky White, 56, and Casey White, 38, disappeared on Friday, April 30, while she was escorting him to the courthouse for what she claimed was a mental health evaluation. Although they share the same last name, the two are not related.
Surveillance video from that morning shows Casey White, chained and wearing an orange jumpsuit, being loaded into the back of Vicky White’s patrol car at the Lauderdale County Detention Center.
However, the couple never made it to the courthouse, where the inmate did not have a scheduled mental health evaluation, Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton later confirmed.
Instead, and in violation of a department policy requiring two deputies to accompany inmates at all times, the couple went alone to a nearby shopping mall.
Authorities told CNN they then abandoned the patrol car in the mall parking lot and drove off in a copper-colored Ford Edge SUV that Vicky had dropped off the night before.
“We know there was never an effort to go to the courthouse,” Singleton said. “They drove straight to the Florence Square parking lot, threw the patrol car, got into the other vehicle and drove off.”
The sheriff’s office told The Associated Press the two appeared to have shared a “special relationship,” but did not elaborate.
A warrant was issued for Vicky White on May 2, charging her with “enabling or facilitating a first degree escape”.
At a press conference announcing the charges, Sheriff Singleton acknowledged that the corrections officer may not have helped the inmate on purpose, noting that he had a long and violent rap sheet.
Casey White was being held for capital murder in the 2015 stabbing death of 58-year-old Connie Ridgeway, a crime he allegedly confessed to while in state prison for numerous other crimes including robbery, burglary, carjacking and animal cruelty.
Friday was supposed to be Vicky White’s last day of work before her retirement. Her colleagues say she has been an exemplary employee with an unblemished record.
Sarah Ruiz-Grossman contributed to this report.