– Copyright AFP ANTHONY WALLACE
US authorities said they captured Monday a fugitive inmate and a female prison guard believed to have helped him escape, after an intense 10-day manhunt that riveted America.
“Casey White is in custody,” said Rick Singleton, the sheriff of Lauderdale County in Alabama, referring to the 38-year-old inmate that was half of the jailbreak couple believed to have been romantically linked.
“We got a dangerous man off the street today. He is never going to see the light of day again,” said Singleton.
White the prisoner has had numerous run-ins with the law, and has been sentenced to 75 years imprisonment for kidnapping, burglary and attempted murder, among other crimes.
The guard, Vicky White, — no relation, and described as having a spotless record until now — has been taken to hospital with an injury after the arrest in Evansville, Indiana, said Singleton. The couple’s vehicle crashed after a chase and the inmate surrendered, he said.
No shots were fired and no police officers or bystanders were hurt.
The arrest was made thanks to a tip after the couple were spotted at a hotel, Singleton said. “It ended the way we knew it would.”
The sheriff said he does not know the extent of the woman’s injuries and said he could not confirm reports that she shot herself.
“I hope she survives it. You know, we don’t wish any ill will on Vicky in terms of her health, her well-being. But she has some answers to give us and hopefully we’ll he have that opportunity to get those answers,” Singleton said.
Vicky White, a 56-year-old Alabama prison guard with a spotless record, was suspected of helping long-time criminal Casey White of escaping custody April 29 on her last day of work before retirement.
Investigators also learned that White had sold her home in the weeks before the escape, and had withdrawn about $90,000 in cash from several banks in the area, Singleton said last week.
– Not even a ‘speeding ticket’ –
Their report also noted the couple’s stark difference in size, with Casey White standing a full foot (0.3 meters) taller.
The case captivated America, triggering media coverage of every twist in the manhunt.
Singleton said last week that Vicky White had used an alias to purchase a sport utility vehicle used as the getaway car, and was likely to try to do that again.
The US Marshals Service, a federal agency specialized in fugitive manhunts, also said White might have darkened her hair.
The agency released composite images of what she would look like, as well as photos of Casey White’s tattoos — including one associated with a white supremacist prison gang.
On her last day at work, Vicky White fabricated a court-ordered psychological evaluation for Casey White.
She said she needed to drive him to the appointment. But the two never returned, and authorities realized they had disappeared that afternoon.
Vicky White’s mother Pat Davis said she was in disbelief over that escape.
“I thought at first it was a mistake,” she told a local TV channel. “She’s never done anything, I bet she’s never even had a speeding ticket.”