Casey White claimed he is innocent of Connie Ridgeway murder after capture

Casey White is due to stand trial in June for the 2015 stabbing murder of Connie Ridgeway

Rachel Sharp
Thursday 12 May 2022 19:09
Bodycam footage shows moment fugitive Casey White is captured

Capital murder suspect Casey Cole White claimed that he was innocent of the brutal killing of 58-year-old mother-of-two Connie Ridgeway almost as soon as he was captured, according to a police report.

New documents, released by Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office and seen by The Independent, reveal that the 38-year-old career criminal began declaring his innocence of the shocking 2015 stabbing death while his jailhouse lover Vicky White was dying from a gunshot wound to the head.

The convict had been taken to hospital for treatment for a head injury where he brought up the heinous crime that he is charged with two counts of capital murder for, according to a report from Sgt Erik Nilssen, who was on the scene of Monday’s capture.

At the hospital, “Mr White also kept stating that he did not kill Connie Ridgeway,” the report said.

The officer said that White also continued to ask about the condition of his “wife” Ms White.

White is currently awaiting trial for the murder of Ms Ridgeway, who was found brutally stabbed to death in her apartment in Rogersville, Alabama, on 23 October 2015.

The case went unsolved for five years until White sent a letter to the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office confessing to the crime in 2020.

During a subsequent interview with authorities, he allegedly gave details about the crime that had not been made public and which only the killer could have known.

He was charged with two counts of capital murder in 2020.

Prosecutors say he was paid to carry out the hit on his victim. It is not clear how much money he made.

After confessing to the murder, White initially pleaded guilty before changing his plea to not guilty by reason of mental illness.

His trial is scheduled to begin in June and, if convicted, he faces the death penalty.

Connie Ridgeway is pictured with her two sons

White is already serving a 75-year sentence after being convicted of a crime spree where he tried to kill his ex-girlfriend and shot another woman.

He is now back behind bars in Alabama after he was transported from Indiana on Tuesday night.

He appeared in Lauderdale County Courthouse in Florence that night where he was charged with escape in the first degree.

Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly told The Independent on Thursday that the escaped inmate could also be slapped with additional charges over the prison break as the investigation continues.

Casey White and Vicky White, who are not related or married and are said to have been in a relationship for the last two years, were finally tracked down to Evansville, Indiana, on Monday after 10 days on the run.

There, they led police on a brief car chase, before officers rammed the couple’s getaway car off the road into a ditch.

White surrendered to authorities and was taken into custody while the 56-year-old corrections officer was found suffering a gunshot wound to the head. She was rushed to hospital where she died from her injuries hours later.

The Vanderburgh County Coroner ruled Ms White’s death a suicide from a single self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Several law enforcement officers on the scene of Monday’s capture filed supplemental reports with the sheriff’s office.

Dashcam footage shows moment Casey White is captured

While some of the reports are heavily redacted, they shed some new light on Ms White’s final moments, including when she shot reportedly herself and what White was doing at the time.

In one report, Evansville Police Officer Sam Shahine said that White also had “a small amount of blood” on the back of his head when he was arrested and that he claimed that he had also been shot.

Officer Shahine also said that White appeared to have his hands out of the window of the driver side door at the exact moment that he heard Ms White pull the trigger, fatally shooting herself in the head.

Dramatic police dashcam and bodycam footage shows White being cuffed and detained by officers while Ms White’s limp body is pulled from the vehicle, with the gun still in her hand.

Officials also released a 911 call made from the fugitives’ car during the chase, where the 56-year-old is heard saying they should “get out and run” moments before she is said to have shot herself.

A nationwide manhunt was first launched back on 29 April when Ms White picked the inmate up from Lauderdale County jail claiming that she was taking him for a mental health evaluation at Lauderdale County Courthouse.

She told her coworkers that once she had escorted him to court she was going to seek medical attention for herself as she felt unwell.

The pair never arrived at the courthouse and White had no scheduled court appearance or appointments that day.

Several hours later, the alarm was raised when Ms White failed to return to the jail and could not be reached by her colleagues.

Vicky White died from a gunshot wound to the head

With Ms White now dead, many questions remain unanswered around both the shock prison escape and the alleged suicide of the 56-year-old widow who had a two-decades-long “exemplary” career.

Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton said that the couple had been in what he described as a “jailhouse romance” or “special relationship” for the last two years.

Ms White had also sold her home just five weeks earlier for well below its market value, withdrew $90,000 in cash from her bank accounts and filed for retirement days before the pair vanished.

Her last day of work was the day she disappeared, though her retirement papers had not been finalised.

After selling her home, she moved in with her mother who previously said that she knew nothing about her daughter’s plans to retire and had never heard her speak of White.

In the early aftermath of the prison escape, Ms White was described as an “exemplary employee” who had repeatedly won employee of the year awards. She was due to be honoured again with the award this week.

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