Vicky White told an ex-con 'stay on the straight and narrow'
EXCLUSIVE: ‘Stay on the straight and narrow.’ What Vicky White told a reformed ex-con hours before helping her inmate lover escape from prison and going on the run – as friend claims she would NEVER kill herself
- Speaking exclusively to DailyMail.com, Vicky White’s lifelong friend Deborah Burbank spoke about the hours before Vicky went on the run
- ‘My daughter saw Vicky that morning and she said she acted like she always did,’ Burbank said
- She said her daughter had been in trouble with the law before and spent time in Lauderdale County Jail, where Vicky worked as a prison guard
- Burbank said, ‘Vicky spoke to my daughter and said how proud she was of her for getting her life back on track’
- ‘She said how important it was to stay on the straight and narrow,’ she added
- Hours later she broke inmate Casey White, 38, out of the jail and went on the run with him for 11 days, until they were captured Monday
- The couple’s days as fugitives came to an end with Vicky’s death from a gunshot wound inflicted moments after their car was rammed into a ditch
Vicky White, who said she was taking Casey White for a mental health evaluation, ran away with him on April 29
Vicky White spoke of the importance of staying ‘on the straight and narrow’ just hours before the veteran corrections officer sprang Casey White from jail and walked out on her life and 17 years of unblemished service, DailyMail.com can reveal.
Speaking exclusively to DailyMail.com, Deborah Burbank, who counted Vicky as a lifelong friend, revealed, ‘My daughter saw Vicky that morning and she said she acted like she always did.’
Burbank explained that her daughter, who did not wish to be named, had been in trouble with the law before and spent time in Lauderdale County Jail in Florence, Alabama.
On Friday April 29, the day of 38-year-old White’s escape, Burbank’s daughter was at the jail visiting a friend when she ran into Vicky who was on shift in her capacity as assistant director of corrections.
Burbank said, ‘Vicky spoke to my daughter and said how proud she was of her for getting her life back on track. She said how important it was to stay on the straight and narrow.
‘We’ve spoken about it since, and she’s thought about it, but she says Vicky was just like she always was. She gave no indication that anything was up. We’re all just shook.’
Speaking exclusively to DailyMail.com, Vicky White’s lifelong friend Deborah Burbank spoke about the hours before Vicky went on the run
Hours after Vicky had a run-in with Burbank’s daughter, she broke inmate Casey White, 38, out of the jail and went on the run with him for 11 days, until they were captured Monday
Today Burbank, 57, who grew up just two miles from Vicky, 56, and went to both elementary and high school with her, is struggling to believe that the woman she knew for more than five decades could have blindsided her so completely.
She said, ‘Vicky was just a good person. She was always supportive, always helping people – my daughter, nephews, friends. She would do anything for anyone.
‘And she was always a good girl, a family girl. When we were younger, I would smoke weed and drink. Vicky never participated in any of that, but she was still my friend.’
Casey White is seen in his mugshot, taken on Monday after he was recaptured
According to Burbank, Vicky did not go into the prison service because she felt any vocation but simply because a friend had told her that there were jobs going at Lauderdale County Jail.
She said, ‘She applied, and she enjoyed her work. She took great pride in it.’
Burbank revealed that prisoners held a prayer vigil for Vicky at the jail on Tuesday night after learning of her death.
She said, ‘There’s a lot who are angry with Casey and blame him for this.’
Casey, who was arraigned on the charge of Escape in the First Degree Tuesday night, is now being held in the maximum security William E Donaldson Correctional Facility in Jefferson County, Alabama. He is due to stand trial on a capital murder trial next month.
As for Vicky’s motivations Burbank said, ‘The only thing I can think is that you just don’t know where your heart can lead you.
‘I should know I’ve had four awful husbands.
‘Vicky only had one and she stayed friends with him to the end. I guess we can all fall in love and do crazy things.’
But however confused Burbank is by her friend’s actions she is certain of one thing. She said, ‘Vicky was not suicidal. She did not deliberately pull that trigger and shoot herself.
‘You can hear on that (911) tape. Vicky was not suicidal when they got up to her.’
If anything, Burbank said, the audio released by Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Department appears to suggest that Vicky was concerned with the couple’s safety.
She can be heard saying, ‘Stop, stop…the airbags will go off and kill us.’ According to law enforcement Vicky was driving and had a gun in her right hand.
At one point an officer can be heard stating that Vicky ‘has her finger on the trigger.’
It is unclear if Vicky was holding the weapon when the car careened off the road in Evansville, Indiana, and into a ditch having been rammed by officers who gave chase in the brief multi-vehicle pursuit that ended the fugitive couple’s stint on the lam.
They had made it less than 300 miles before deciding they had driven enough and, according to Vanderburgh County Sheriff Dave Wedding, holed up in an old Motel 6 – now called Motel 41 – to mull over their next move.
Burbank is adamant, ‘You can hear Vicky hollering, ”Casey.” She was talking about getting up and running. She was not suicidal. I don’t care if they say they found the gun in her hand, I do not believe she pulled the trigger and shot herself on purpose.
‘None of this makes any sense to me but whatever she did I just can’t believe that.’
Pictured is Vicky White’s home in Lexington, Alabama. Burbank, 57, grew up just two miles from Vicky, 56, and went to both elementary and high school with her
According to Burbank, Vicky did not go into the prison service because she felt any vocation but simply because a friend had told her that there were jobs going at Lauderdale County Detention Center. She said, ‘She applied, and she enjoyed her work. She took great pride in it’
The two were found 219 miles away from the jail they left in Alabama on April 29. The manhunt spanned three states
The couple’s days as fugitives came to an end with Vicky’s death from a gunshot wound moments after their car was rammed off the road and into a ditch.
The pair were carrying $29,000 in cash, four handguns and an AR-15 rifle and were prepared for a shootout when they were captured, an Indiana sheriff said on Tuesday.
The end of the manhunt left authorities trying to piece together what happened during the 11 days that elapsed after Vicky White escorted Casey White from a Florence, Alabama, jail for what she falsely claimed was a mental health evaluation.
She also told her coworkers that she felt ill and planned to see a doctor afterward.
No one realized that the two were missing until around 3.30pm.
The inmate and Vicky appeared to have had a jailhouse romance, Alabama authorities said last week. Despite sharing a last name, they were not related.
As for Vicky’s role in the escape, Vanderburgh County sheriff Dave Wedding said: ‘He was not forcing her. It was a mutual relationship.’
At the time of the breakout, Casey White was serving a 75-year prison sentence for attempted murder and other offenses and was awaiting trial on charges of stabbing a woman to death during a 2015 burglary.
If convicted, he could get the death penalty.
Investigators believe the pair spent about six days holed up at in the Motel 41.
Authorities discovered wigs intended to hide their identities.
Casey White, in the white t-shirt, was serving a 75-year prison sentence for attempted murder and other offenses when he fled. He was also awaiting trial on charges of stabbing a woman to death during a 2015 burglary
Casey White is seen in dashboard camera footage released by police in Indiana being taken into custody on Monday
The pair were caught Monday afternoon after leading US Marshals on a car chase that lasted ‘less than a few minutes’. They had been in Evansville, Indiana, since May 3
The couple had just $29,000 of the $90,000 Vicky had withdrawn when they were caught on Monday
Sheriff Wedding said investigators do not believe the two had relatives or other contacts in Evanston which is in southwest Indiana, close to both the Kentucky and Illinois borders.
‘They thought they’d driven long enough. They wanted to stop for a while, get their bearings straight and then figure out the next place to travel,’ the sheriff said.
Authorities closed in on them after the manager of a car wash reported that a man closely resembling the giant 260-pound Casey White had been recorded by a surveillance camera getting out of a pickup truck.
Investigators said they located the pickup, then learned that the pair may have switched to a Cadillac, which was then spotted outside a motel nearby.
They arrived in Evansville on May 3 and were helped by a local man whose identity remains unknown. He booked them into the $44-a-night motel, so they avoided going to the front desk where they might have been recognized.
Casey White told investigators after his capture that ‘he was probably going to have a shootout at the stake of both of them losing their lives,’ the sheriff said.
Audiotape of a 911 call shows Vicky blamed Casey for their capture in her last moments. ‘You had to stay in some f***ing motel,’ she is heard saying.
The inmate appeared by video Tuesday in an Indiana courtroom, where he waived extradition. He was sent back to Florence and appeared in court there on Tuesday.
He was remanded to the William E. Donaldson Correctional Facility, a maximum security lock-up near Bessemer, Alabama.
Vicky White, assistant director of corrections at the Lauderdale County jail, had put in for retirement ahead of the escape, and the day of the breakout, April 29, was her last day of work.
She had been honored by her workmates who voted her employee of the year for the fifth time in her career.
Timeline of Vicky White and Casey White’s escape
April 18: Jail guard Vicky White sells her Lexington, Alabama, home. Public records revealed she sold the property for $95,550, which was below market value. She started living with her mother after the sale.
April 28: Vicky submits retirement paperwork to officials at Lauderdale County Jail. According to Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton, she had been discussing her retirement for many months and ‘talked about going to the beach’.
Pre-prison break: In the week ahead of the escape (specific dates unknown) Vicky purchases men’s clothing at a Kohl’s store and visits a sex shop. It is unclear if she bought anything at the adult toy store.
Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly claims she also withdrew $90,000 in cash out of a series of bank accounts.
April 29 at 5.21am: Vicky checks out of a Quality Inn in Florence, Alabama.
8.47am: Transport Van 5 leaves the Lauderdale County jail with seven inmates escorted by two deputies
8.56am: Transport Van 2 leaves the jail with five inmates also escorted by two deputies
9.20am: Assistant Director Vicky White tells a deputy to prepare inmate Casey White for transport to courthouse. Deputy removes White from his cell, takes him to booking and handcuffs him and shackles his legs.
9.41am: Vicky leaves detention center with Casey and they head to the courthouse for a ‘mental health evaluation’. She tells the booking officer that she is the only deputy available who is firearm-certified and that she’s dropping him off to other deputies at the courthouse. Vicky says she’s then going to Med Plus for a personal appointment.
9.49am: Surveillance video shows Vicky’s police cruiser parked at the nearby Florence Square shopping center parking lot eight minutes after leaving the jail. ‘There was not enough time for them to even attempt to try to come to the courthouse,’ Sheriff Rick Singleton said.
11.34am: A Florence Police Department officer spots her cruiser.
3.30pm: Booking officer reports to administration that they’ve been trying to contact Vicky to check on her, and that her phone is going directly to voice mail. The officer also says that Casey was not returned to the detention center with other inmates.
Approximately 11pm: College Grove, Tennessee, resident Jackie Adams finds Vicky’s SUV – with tinted windows and no tags – abandoned by her home. She reports the vehicle to the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office, which has it towed.
May 1: US Marshals offer a $10,000 bounty – later increased to $25,000 – for Casey
May 3: US Marshals issue a warrant for Vicky, charging her with permitting or facilitating escape in the first degree in connection with capital murder
May 6: Tennessee cops discover the impounded SUV belonged to Vicky, spurring a force of US Marshals, Williamson County Sheriff’s Officers, and SWAT members to circle back to Adams’s property.
Drones and helicopters descended on Adams’s home – where they remained for hours and into the evening.
2.15pm: The Williamson County Sheriff’s Office tweets ‘there is NO sign the two are still in our area.’
May 7: Connolly reveals investigators’ theory that Vicky is rolling Casey, dressed as a woman, around in a wheelchair. Officials also suspect Vicky might be disguising herself as an elderly woman with a grey wig.
May 9: US Marshals search for the couple in Evansville, Indiana, after authorities locate a vehicle that had been reported stolen in the area of Tennessee where Vicky’s SUV was abandoned.
The couple is then caught after a brief car chase in Evansville. Casey White surrenders. Vicky White is taken to the hospital where she dies from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Source: WAAY-TV, Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office, NewsNation, TODAY and DailyMail.com
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