An Alabama prisoner received a life sentence on Thursday for escaping with the help of a jail official who ultimately took her own life as police closed in following a manhunt across three states. During the sentencing hearing,, 39, declared his love for the jail official and apologized to her family.
White told those gathered in the Lauderdale County courtroom that he felt like "the most hated man in the world," CBS affiliate WHNT reported. He said Vicky White, who was not related to him, was the first person who cared about him in six years.
"I loved Vicky and I wouldn't drag her name through the mud for anyone in this courtroom," White told the court. "Vicky took me out because she said, 'right was right. Wrong is wrong.' First person to show me affection. First person to give me a hug in six years."
He apologized for the escape, saying Vicky White's only regret was leaving behind her family.
"We just wanted a new life together because she knew the truth. I can handle the truth because I know who I am," White said. "I chose this road. It's cost me my life and freedom."
White was serving a 75-year prison term for an array of charges from 2015, including attempted murder, and he was awaiting a capital murder trial when he escaped in April 2022. The pair was on the run for 11 days until Casey White was recaptured in Evansville, Indiana. Vicky White died by a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
White pleaded guilty to escape in exchange for prosecutors dropping a felony murder charge involving Vicky White's death, and agreed to the maximum sentence of life without parole.
Members of Vicky White's family were in the courtroom for the sentencing hearing, WHNT reported.
"I apologize to her family because she said that's the only thing she regretted … leaving her family," White said, according to the station.
Casey White was also told to notify the state if he, his family or attorneys receive opportunities for books, movies or other financial opportunities related to the escape, which made national headlines, as any proceeds should be used to pay for his defense.
Meanwhile, he still faces an Aug. 14 capital murder trial for the 2015 slaying of Connie Ridgeway in Rogersville, Alabama. That trial was delayed in the aftermath of the escape and White retaining a new team of attorneys.
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