LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. — UPDATE 6/8: Casey White said he "felt like the most hated man in the world" when speaking to the judge before he was formally sentenced to life in prison on Thursday. Yet, he professed still being in love with Vicky White.
"I love her with all my heart," he said. "[She was] the first person to give me affection, the first hug in six years. We just wanted a new life together because she knew the truth."
He did apologize for the escape, saying Vicky’s only regret was leaving behind her family.
Along with his sentence, the judge also barred Casey White from receiving any financial gain or benefit from any media, movies or contracts asking him for his side of the story. This is thanks to Lisa's Law, a bill passed in the Alabama Legislature in 2019, which gives victims and their families the ability to prevent a convicted perpetrator from profiting off crime books, movies or other entertainment.
Mark McDaniel, an attorney on Casey's defense team, said the events that played out were not wholly his fault. "It's a two-way street," he said. "She [Vicky] has the keys to the jail. She was a great, sweet, kind woman. But he [Casey] didn't have the keys. He was in a cage; she had the keys."
Vicky White's mother was too emotional to speak Thursday, but her lawyer spoke about the grave impact the ordeal has had on her family. He said they are not seeking restitution at this time.
Casey White and his defense lawyers still have another case ahead of them; a capital murder case regarding the death of Connie Ridgeway; that trial is set for August 14. That trial was delayed in part due to the escape.
Our original reporting continues below:
Alabama inmate Casey White, who escaped a Lauderdale County detention center in 2022, pleaded guilty in court May 4 to Felony Escape in the First Degree in a case that captured the nation's attention. The guilty plea, in which White accepted the maximum penalty of life in prison, means that the felony murder charge in the death of Vicky White was dropped.
Casey While will be formally sentenced on June 8 at 1:00 p.m.
According to the Lauderdale County District Attorney's Office, Casey White was at the Lauderdale County Courthouse for a status conference after being indicted for felony murder in the death of Vicky White. While there, he offered to plead guilty to felony escape in the first degree and take the maximum penalty of life in prison in exchange for the felony murder charge being dropped. The court consulted with Vicky White's family, who said this was acceptable. While at the courthouse, White entered the plea. He will be formally sentenced on June 8 at 1:00 p.m. White's family says that they are relieved that this is over.
In May of 2022, Casey White escaped from the Lauderdale County Detention Center with the help of Assistant Director of Corrections Vicky White. The two were not related.
The duo led investigators on an 11-day manhunt that spanned several states. The pair were allegedly involved in a jailhouse romance. Despite the identical names, the two Whites were not related to one another.
Video showed Vicky escorting Casey to a patrol car and leaving for a supposed mental evaluation at a courthouse. Officials said no evaluation or hearing was ever scheduled, and the two disappeared.
Deputies in Indiana recaptured Casey White after a car chase. As U.S. Marshals-led team closed in on their vehicle, investigators said Vicky White took her own life. Casey, who was injured in the incident, surrendered without a fight, saying he didn’t kill the woman he called "his wife."
Prosecutors decided not to seek the death penalty in the case.
Casey White was awaiting trial in the 2015 death of Connie Ridgeway at the time of his escape.
Austin Williams, one of Ridgeway's sons, spoke with Fox News Digital in October 2022 that he hoped for a sentence of life without parole. "I definitely don't want him ever up for parole. I'm glad the wheels of justice are turning," he said.