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LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — Casey White, the prisoner who became the target of a nationwide manhunt after escaping from an Alabama facility with help from jailer Vicky White, agreed to a plea deal Thursday before he could be tried for murder in White’s death.

After a routine hearing in a Lauderdale County courtroom, White entered his plea to first-degree escape, in exchange for the felony murder charge involving Vicky White being dismissed.

Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly told Nexstar’s WHNT that White approached him after the hearing to present the plea deal. Connolly said White agreed to the maximum sentence for first-degree escape, which is life in prison, however, a judge will have the final say in his sentencing.

WHNT crews inside the courtroom said White acknowledged and apologized to Ms. Jones, Vicky’s mother when entering his plea. He also said, “It wasn’t supposed to go that way,” and that the pair were in love. White said they planned to start a new life together.

His escape in April 2022 from the Lauderdale County Detention Center drew national attention as details surrounding the getaway emerged.

Video surveillance showed Casey White and Vicky White (no relation), who was the assistant director of corrections at the time, getting into a patrol car that they would later ditch a few miles away in a parking lot.

A manhunt by the FBI, U.S. Marshals and authorities across the nation ensued for 11 days before it ended in Evansville, Ind. As officers were closing in on the pair during a car chase, Vicky White died by suicide, according to law enforcement officials.

Casey White is also scheduled to go on trial on Aug. 14 for capital murder in the 2015 stabbing death of Connie Ridgeway in Rogersville.

He is now scheduled to be sentenced for the escape charge on June 8 at 1 p.m.