“It really saddens me because we were hoping and praying for the best result and that’s really not the case,” he said. “Our thoughts are with her family and friends. We feel very sad for her.”
After being crushed by their mother’s fatal stabbing in 2015 in Rogersville, Alabama, the family was relieved to learn that Casey White had confessed to the murder in 2020, Williams told CNN last week, only to be disappointed when he retracted his confession and pleaded his innocence.
However, the trial promised answers to many questions regarding Ridgway’s death – but that hope, too, was snatched away when the family learned that White had escaped.
Now, the prospect of getting answers is back on the table, Williams said, and the family is happy.
He said in a phone interview from his father’s home, where he and his brother Cameron, 40, were meeting, before heading to the emergency, hearing White in Florence, Alabama.
Once in custody — after a car chase Monday in Indiana — White appeared on video at an extradition hearing in Evansville, Indiana, where he told the judge he was waiving his right to the hearing, saying, “I want to go back to Alabama.”
White appeared on the stage with five security officials. Back in Alabama, Lauderdale County Mayor Rick Singleton said his team is also taking measures to ensure White never escapes again, including putting him in a cell alone.
“He’ll remain handcuffed and shackled while in that cell, and if he wants to sue me for violating his civil rights, so be it,” Singleton said. “He’ll never get out of this prison again. I’ll assure you.” Monday.
White was returned to Alabama late Tuesday night to stand trial in Lauderdale County Court. He listened intently as Judge Ben Graves told him that in addition to the murder charges against him for Ridgway’s death, he would also be charged with first-degree abscondment.
Less than 10 feet away, Williams sat in the front row of the courtroom, watching Wyatt during the hearing.
After the indictment, White was transferred to William E. Donaldson Correctional Facility in Bessemer, Alabama, just over 100 miles south of Lauderdale County. Singleton said Tuesday that he will remain at that facility until another court hearing returns him to Lauderdale County.
A mother of two, Ridgway had never had the opportunity to meet her grandchildren. Patriotic and a generous spirit, she had friends all over Rogersville, and was also a staunch Southern Baptist who made trips for neighbors and made little angels of feeling by distributing them to her friends and family.
Her son said she was “the kind of person who never met a stranger,” and was loved and appreciated by those who knew her. He said it never made sense for a violent criminal to target her.
He said Williams would like to see Casey White’s murder trial speeded up, and hoped to find out during the proceedings whether White knew his mother, “how he ended up at her place, in her apartment” and whether there was any speculation. On killing her right.
The trial is scheduled for June 13, but White’s attorney, Jimmy Bos, said during Tuesday’s hearing that he intended to apply for a change of venue, which the judge said he would consider.
“The whole story really hit my mind,” Williams said. “Knowing what kind of person she is, the whole thing is really shocking. Nothing will make sense until proven.”
On his family’s condition late Tuesday morning, Williams said, “Everyone seems to be in better spirits.”
The incident reminds him of what he heard a priest say in his former hometown of Atlanta, where he said: The best marriages are boring.
“You don’t value normal as much as you do when you don’t get it and get it back,” he said. “Normal isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Ordinary and boring shouldn’t be taken for granted.”
CNN’s Omar Jimenez, Jamil Lynch, Jade Tim Garcia and Nadia Romero contributed to this report.