On Wednesday, Gov. Kay Ivey directed the Finance Department to issue a $5,000 reward to a person who “provided valuable assistance to law enforcement” in the case of an escaped convict who led police on a nationwide manhunt.
However, the reward did not go to the man who spotted the inmate’s abandoned truck, which eventually led police to capture the convict.
James Stinson is the manager of Weinbach Car Wash in Evansville, Indiana. He called the police to report the truck of the escaped convict, Casey White, who was caught on camera at the carwash abandoning his truck for a Cadillac Sedan.
Casey White escaped from Lauderdale County Detention Facility on April 29 with the help of one of the guards, Vicky White. The pair fled together to Indiana.
Stinson’s notification eventually led police officers to search local parking lots. They found Casey’s car parked at a motel on May 9 and led law enforcement on a brief chase before Casey White was apprehended. Vicky White suffered from a self-inflicted gunshot wound and died.
Ivey said in a news brief on Wednesday that the individual who did receive the reward chose to remain anonymous. She also said Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly recommended to whom she should send the money.
“Thanks to the good information from this citizen and the diligent work from law enforcement in Alabama all the way to Indiana, we were able to put the bad guy behind bars where he belongs,” Ivey said. “I look forward to justice being served.”
“In the case of reward recipients like this, there is very good reason why their anonymity should be protected,” Gina Maiola, the communications director for the Governor’s Office, said. “If we do not protect confidentiality, how can we expect individuals not seeking notoriety or fame to come forward with potentially life-saving information to help secure an arrest in the future?”
When 1819 News reached out to Connolly to ask him questions about why he did not recommend Stinson receive the reward money, he did not respond.
Stinson said he had no suspicions of to whom the money could’ve been awarded.
“I don’t have a clue,” Stinson said. “It would be very interesting to find out. Maybe they’re smarter than me.”
Nevertheless, Stinson said his decision to call the police was not about the money.
“[Casey White] is back where he needs to be,” Stinson said. “...This guy’s a bad bad boy.”
Casey White, who was convicted over a chain of violent crimes, is also accused of murdering Connie Ridgeway.
One of Ridgeway’s friends originally started a GoFundMe to generate an award for information that led to the capture of the Whites.
On April 12, he changed the purpose of the fundraiser to help raise money for Stinson.
“We’re not waiting around to see if Mr. Stinson receives reward money elsewhere,” the friend wrote on the GoFundMe page. “We’re going to do it right here, right now.”
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