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Original murder case dropped against inmate whose escape left jail guard accomplice dead

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When Casey White broke out of Alabama’s Lauderdale County Jail two years ago, he enlisted the help of a senior corrections officer with whom he had an illicit relationship.

After an 11-day manhunt that ended in Indiana, the prison’s former deputy warden, Vicki White, committed suicide by shooting herself in the head rather than photographing her face. The two were not related by blood, but were romantically involved.

The escape resulted in a life sentence on top of his previous 75-year sentence, but the murder case he was awaiting trial at the time of the escape is on hold, the victim’s son said.

Casey White, an Alabama inmate who escaped from prison with the help of his alleged girlfriend Vicki White, is sentenced to life in prison.

Connie Ridgeway, 59, was murdered in her home in October 2015. (Courtesy of Austin Williams)

Casey White, 40, could have faced the death penalty for the brutal murder of Connie Ridgway, 59, in 2015. But he recanted his confession, prosecutors dropped it two weeks before he was scheduled to go to trial, and her family has no idea who killed her. she.

“We’re disappointed, but we’re hopeful that the attention to this case will lead us somewhere,” the 45-year-old’s son, Austin Williams, told Fox News Digital. “We feel the public needs to know that the real culprit is out there.”

He said investigators have a list of potential suspects but no direct evidence linking White or anyone else to the crime scene.

It explains why Casey White was in Vicki White’s Alabama County Jail in the first place.

casey white verdict

Casey White arrives at Lauderdale County Courthouse for his sentencing hearing on June 8, 2023 in Florence, Alabama. (Dan Busey/Times Daily, via AP)

Last spring, District Attorney Chris Connolly’s office filed a motion for a stay of execution in the murder case, in part because White is expected to die in prison. The investigation continues.

“Casey White’s confession is basically BS. There is no other evidence against him.”

— Austin Williams, victim’s son

At the time of his escape, Casey White was serving a decades-long sentence for violent crimes in which he shot a woman, killed a dog, broke into his ex-girlfriend’s home and fired two pistols into the wall. .

Williams said he later confessed to Ridgway’s murder, saying he was hired to kill him, but his claims were never justified.

Alabama inmate who escaped with female guard and girlfriend enters plea deal

“The confession named people who were associated with my mother,” he told FOX News Digital. “Their story kind of made sense, but I don’t think it would have been easy to prove the exchange of money.”

Casey White appears in court led by his attorney

Casey White returned to Alabama after 11 days on the run. (Michael Lewis/Fox News Digital)

Ridgway, who was supposed to be a witness in a credit card fraud case, was known for opening up to people in need, including the man she had kicked out days before the killing, Williams said.

His mother had a friend who had access to the apartment, but he became suspicious when she stopped answering the phone and didn’t check on her. The man was arrested for drunk driving hours after her body was discovered.

Another local woman told police she thought her husband might have committed the crime, but police said they found no evidence to support her claim. Witnesses also told detectives that Casey White had been seen near Ridgway’s apartment and that she was acting erratically shortly before her death.

Williams said none of the DNA collected at the crime scene was a match. Lauderdale County District Attorney’s Office did not respond to a request for comment.

WATCH: Law enforcement vehicle catches up with Casey White and Vicki White after short chase in Evansville, Indiana

Casey White’s Escape: Timeline of Alabama Murder Suspect Captured After Manhunt

He said investigators recovered a hammer, believed to be one of the two murder weapons. White told detectives he used his fist. His autopsy report lists multiple stab wounds to his face, neck and hands, as well as hammer blows to his head and fingers. There may have been multiple attackers.

Williams suggested that White may have feared for his life when he made the false confession.

Room 150 at Motel 41 on Highway 41 in Evansville, Indiana

Room 150 of Motel 41 on Highway 41 in Evansville, Indiana is where Alabama fugitives Casey and Vicki White stayed until their arrest by law enforcement on May 9, 2022. It has been reported. (Denny Simmons/Courier & Press/USA Today Network)

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White was serving a difficult sentence at the William E. Donaldson Correctional Facility in Bessemer when he got into an argument over a smuggled cell phone.

The 6-foot-9, 270-pound felon picked a fight with the wrong fellow inmate, the leader of the prison’s largest gang, and ended up being stabbed in the shin, Williams said. That’s what it means.

Williams said he may have falsely confessed to the crime knowing he would be safe once he was transferred to the county jail in Lauderdale.

WATCH: Alabama prison surveillance camera captures murder suspect’s shocking escape

“At this point, no one has been held responsible for Connie’s murder,” family friend and former Rogersville police officer Mark White told FOX News Digital. “Our mission remains the same and we will continue to seek justice for Connie Ridgway.”

He said the real culprit is out there because Ridgway’s sons continue to seek justice. Meanwhile, White is back in prison at the Donaldson facility.

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Casey and Vicki White were arrested in Indiana after an 11-day manhunt in Alabama.

Casey White and Vicki White (Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office | Lauderdale County)

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“Austin and Cameron have been patient and respectful throughout this process, and I respect them for that,” he said. “Their mom would be proud.”

Anyone with information about Ridgway’s death is asked to call the Alabama Department of Law Enforcement tip line at 1-800-392-8011.

In 2018, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey announced a $5,000 reward for information in the case.

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