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 (no relation), agreed to a plea deal Thursday before he could be tried for murder in her death.

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

Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly told News 2’s sister station, WHNT, that Casey approached him after the hearing to present the plea deal. Connolly said Casey 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 Casey acknowledged and apologized to Vicky’s mother when entering his plea. He also said, “It wasn’t supposed to go that way,” adding that the pair was in love and 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 and Vicky, 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, Indiana. As officers were closing in on the pair during a car chase, Vicky died by suicide, according to law enforcement officials.

Casey 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.