Casey Hughes, the youngest son of attorney Tom Hughes and cop Margo Hughes, has had a very stable childhood with parents who love each other. Named after his mother's deceased stepfather, Casey Peretti, Casey was surrounded by love and attention no matter what intrigues his family was immersed in. Kidnapped as a toddler by a lonely woman who desperately wanted a child, he was luckily found and reunited with his family after missing for several weeks. Years later, when he was in the cusp of adolescence, the Hughes family would almost be torn apart when Tom had an affair with, and impregnated, Emily Stewart. Although both Margo and Casey's older brother, Adam, turned away from Tom, they later forgave him and welcomed Tom's son, Daniel.
A few years later, Casey, now 16, would begin a friendship with Sarah Travers, a troublemaker who was angry at her new foster mother, Jessica, who was Margo's best friend. Although Casey knew about Sarah's plan to get Jessica in trouble, he kept quiet, while at the same time trying to convince Sarah to back off her plan. Later, Sarah would leave but Casey would continue his friendship with Jess's stepson, Curtis. Meanwhile, Casey would later be perplexed at the tension between his parents, culminating in Tom moving out. Although Casey tried to go some answers, no one would tell him anything. However, when he saw his mother's intense reaction when he was befriended by ex-football star "Doc" Reese, Casey figured out what happened--Margo must have had an affair with "Doc." When his suspicion was confirmed, Casey turned his back on Margo. He angrily lashed out, but to his surprise was reprimanded by Tom who reminded him that she was still his mother. Although Casey decided to move out and stay with Tom, Tom managed to convince Casey to give his mother another chance and move back home. By the end of the year, his parents had reconciled and Casey had struck up a friendship with Will Munson. Later, Casey would meet the very beautiful, kind-hearted Celia Ortega. Quickly charmed by the Montegan emigrant, Casey soon began dating Celia. Weeks later, Casey became increasingly nervous and annoyed when a girl named Gwen Norbeck began befriending Celia. Early that summer, Celia became more and more concerned about Gwen who seemed to be bulimic. Soon the truth was discovered--she wasn't bulimic; she was pregnant. Horrified that someone had gotten Gwen pregnant, Celia demanded to know who the father was. Suddenly, Will spoke up and stated that he was. Will's admission confused Casey, since as far as he knew Will hated Gwen. However, the alternative scared him even more, because if Will was not the father, that meant someone else was--Casey!
When Celia learned that Will had selflessly lied about being the father, she broke up with Casey and started seeing Will. Soon afterwards, Celia left town for good. In the next few months, Gwen gave birth to a baby boy and planned to give him up for adoption. However, when the woman she planned to give her baby to was suddenly incapacitated, Gwen changed her mind and tried to sue for custody of the child. However, to do so she had to name the child’s father. Desperate to get her baby back, Gwen revealed to Casey that the baby was his child and pleaded with him to let her admit it in court. However, a scared Casey refused to acknowledge it. Unfortunately, his and Gwen’s argument was overheard by Casey’s parents. Confronted, Casey lied right to their faces and insisted that he was not the father. When a frustrated Gwen tried to point out that he was lying, the Hughes’s suggested that a paternity test be done. Although Tom was skeptical of Casey’s claim and tried to get him to admit the truth, Casey continued to deny being the father. Finally, to Casey’s surprise, and utter relief, the test proved that he was not the father. Several months later, Gwen informed Casey that the baby she’d been fighting for wasn’t’ theirs—there was a baby switch and their baby died soon after birth. As Gwen was recounting the story to Casey, who was devastated at having lost a son he never knew, Casey’s parents walked in and learned the truth. Angered and disappointed that Casey had refused to take any responsibility for Gwen’s pregnancy, Margo and Tom decided that Casey would not be going out of state his first year of college.
At the same time that Gwen was fighting for custody of what she thought was her baby, there came a surprise guest in the Hughes house—Maddie Coleman. Maddie was Casey’s Aunt Katie’s soon-to-be ex-sister-in-law and needed a place to stay. Although she and Casey definitely did not hit it off at first, they became closer as the months went on and eventually shared a kiss. After a few months, they decided to take their relationship to the next level. However, when Casey's parents were gone for the weekend (and Casey and Maddie were all alone), Maddie suddenly pulled away. Though Casey believed the virginal Maddie was just having cold feet, she insisted she was ready. They tried again at a hotel but, this time, not only did she pull away, Maddie unexpectedly broke up with him. Soon after, Casey began hanging out with a girl named Lia, causing Maddie to become extremely jealous. Then trouble began when Maddie lashed out by slashing Lia's car in a jealous rage. .Casey tried to get through to a shell shocked Maddie but she wouldn’t open up to him and was promptly arrested. Luckily, Lia dropped the charges to stay in Casey’s good graces. Later, Casey and Lia decided to sneak into the Country Club after hours for some late night skinny dipping. Afterwards, Casey went to check on a showering Lia and was shocked to find her stabbed to death! Because of her previous actions, Margo became concerned and suddenly Maddie was prime suspect # 1.
Though Casey thought the idea was ridiculous, Margo warned him to stay away from Maddie. Afterwards, another one of Casey’s friends, Nate, was found murdered. Again suspicion fell on Maddie, with Lia’s best friend, Ann, outright accusing her of being the killer. Casey, again, refused to believe it, even though Maddie had been acting oddly. Later, Maddie, herself was attacked but was rescued by Gwen who was shocked when a shell shocked Maddie confessed what she knew—that Will had had an affair with Jade Taylor. Gwen immediately left Will and Casey befriended her. About this time, Gwen became a victim of the slasher but was luckily saved by Will. Throughout all of this, Casey continued to believe in Maddie’s innocence even though she wasn’t sure.
Finally, at the end of summer, Casey, Gwen and their friends decided to go to Raven Lake for one large party before school started. Unfortunately, the slasher followed them and ended up murdering four of the teens! Maddie, who followed the group, almost became a victim but was saved by Casey. In the end, Casey was left in critical condition; he recovered and learned that the murderer was Maddie’s oldest sister, Eve. Maddie then told Casey the dark secret she’d been hiding—the previous summer, she’d been raped by her brother-in-law. Casey was incredibly understanding and they shared a kiss after professing their love for each other. After the ordeal, Casey settled into a normal life; or so he thought. While engaging in some internet gambling, Casey soon found himself over his head. On the wings of a gambling addiction, Casey found himself deeply in debt and, in an act of desperation, stole Will’s bonds. He was quickly caught by Adam who agreed to cover for him. The thing was, Adam’s idea of covering was to frame Will for the crime—making it look as if Will was faking a burglary. Though Casey strenuously objected, Adam convinced him that nothing would happen to Will since he couldn’t be prosecuted for stealing from himself. Unfortunately, the police learned what Casey had done. Placed under arrest, he was forced to admit that he took the money. The trouble was everyone thought that meant he was responsible for framing Will, which Casey didn’t deny in an effort to protect Adam. However, Maddie refused to believe that Casey would implicate Will and urged him to tell the truth. After confessing the truth to Maddie Casey informed his parents.
In the meantime, Adam had disappeared. When Maddie tearfully confessed that she killed him when he seemed to attack Gwen, Casey decided that he, Maddie, Gwen, and had to go on the run. The group prepared to go to Canada and hid out at a cabin for the night. There, Gwen was shocked to see Adam—he wasn’t dead after all! Deeply infatuated with Gwen by now, Adam attacked her but was pulled off by Will who had to restrain himself from killing Adam. Will and Casey both ordered their brother to leave town and Casey decided to take responsibility for his actions and returned home. Though it was hoped that Casey would get off with community service, because of his jumping bail, he was given a prison term of two months. Before going to jail, Casey bid a sad farewell to his family and finally made love to Maddie. However, a few months later, Casey let Maddie know that he would not be returning to Oakdale after his released and blocked all calls from her.
Casey was released from prison in early 2008 and returned home to a jubilant Margo. Unfortunately, Margo was a little too pushy in regards to Casey’s future. While Casey wanted some time to settle back into society, his mother kept peppering with questions about getting a job or returning to school. Finally, to silence his mother, Casey got a job at the Lakeview. Margo wasn’t the only demanding person Casey had to deal with. There was also Alison Stewart who was critical of Casey’s reluctance to resume his friendships with Will and Gwen. Soon, Casey received a visit from his old cell mate, Matt O’Connor. Casey owed his early release to Matt since bribed a guard into speaking on Casey’s behalf. Matt had no qualms about reminding Casey what he had done and asked for payment. To pay Matt off, Casey robbed the till at the Lakeview. Later, Matt hung out with Casey when Margo arrived home. Having heard voices in the bedroom, Margo instantly thought she had heard Adam. When Matt was introduced, he played on Margo’s sympathies and spun a story about he and Casey knowing each other from Oakdale U. Before Casey could stop it, Matt got himself invited to stay at the Hughes house.
Thanks to Casey, Matt also got a job at the Lakeview. Though Casey felt uncomfortable lying, Matt convinced him that it would be a bad idea for his parents to know they met in prison. In the meantime, Matt met and began dating Alison. Though she liked Matt, there was something about him that unsettled her. What especially unsettled her was Matt’s connection to a man named Gray Girard. Alison had seen Matt and Gray in conversation numerous times but Matt insisted he was just a customer at the Lakeview. Alison was convinced there was something dangerous about Gray and convinced Casey to help her find out what it was. Thanks to some help from Will, the pair learned that Gray’s real name was Gerald Nevins. Casey remembered that Margo had been raped by a man named Nevins when he was a kid and called to warn her. When he called, he was shocked to learn that Gray had shot Matt when Matt double-crossed him. Matt was due to be taken into custody for his involvement with Gray who was suspected of various crimes. Unfortunately when Matt was released, he was kidnapped by Gray who posed as an FBI agent. Gray took Matt to Casey’s house where Casey was with Alison. Gray tied up Casey, Alison and a remorseful Matt and demanded that Casey call Margo or else he would kill Alison. With no choice, Casey called Margo who came only to be tied up with the others. At that point, the group learned that Gray was the brother of the man who raped Margo all those years ago and wanted revenge for his death. He then set a bomb and walked out. Luckily, the bomb was defective and failed to go off. That same night, Gray snuck into the Hughes home to finish what he started. Fortunately, Ali returned to get her cell phone and, while talking with Margo, spotted Gray with a gun. Alison shoved Margo out of the way. When Tom ran down to stop Gray, he was overpowered and Margo shot Gray to keep him from killing Tom.
Afterwards, Casey continued to flounder without direction, which irked Margo who kept badgering him into getting a job or going back to school. Soon, Casey found the perfect opportunity when he visited the Intruder offices and learned that Emily Stewart had fired her assistant. Casey charmed Emily into hiring him, despite Emily’s concern that his mother would not approve. Emily was right—Margo did not and demanded that Casey quit. To keep the peace, Emily fired Casey. Casey refused to accept that and stood up to Margo. After telling Margo, in no uncertain terms that she had no right butting in, Casey asked Emily for his job back. As the days went on, Casey and Emily’s friendship grew stronger. In the meantime, when Casey helped Emily investigate some stolen manuscripts from the university, he was framed. Margo refused to believe Casey’s claims of innocence. Casey was quickly vindicated and although he refused to forgive Margo for doubting him, Emily convinced him to forgive her. Emily also convinced Casey to come clean when he told her about the money he stole from the Lakeview for Matt. Casey confessed the theft to Lisa who had no choice but to tell his parents. After railing at Casey for the theft, Margo told Casey that she’d keep silent if he returned to school. Although a stubborn Casey refused, the alternative was returning to prison for violating his parole so Casey had no choice but to comply. In the meantime, Casey was becoming more and more attracted to Emily and it was clear that the feeling was mutual. Finally, when Casey flew to New York to give Emily some papers that she’d forgotten, the two gave in to their desires and made love. Although Emily insisted that it could never happen again, Casey easily wore her down and the pair became lovers. Later, the pair was discovered post lovemaking by Margo who freaked out and pointed a gun at Emily.
When Tom diffused the situation, Margo vindictively told Tom and Casey about Emily having been a prostitute. Of course, Casey already knew this and defied his parents by moving out in order to remain with Emily. Rattled by the revelation of Emily’s hooker past, Tom sought for full custody of Daniel. Casey blasted his father for his actions and Tom ultimately backed down. When it became clear that Casey would pick Emily over his family, Tom and Margo had no choice but to accept their relationship. Later, Emily received a mysterious gift—her favorite perfume. The perfume caused Emily to act very erratically and under its influence she convinced Casey to marry her. After their elopement, Emily had no memory of what happened and told Casey that it was a mistake. Afterwards, Emily collapsed in front of Margo and was taken to Memorial. There, Casey became so erratic that he barricaded himself in the hospital room with Emily. Soon, the pair became deathly ill. Seeing Emily’s concern for Casey, Margo took her to Casey’s room. Finally, it was discovered that Emily, along with Alison and Chris had been poisoned by Rick Decker. Fortunately, Chris found an antidote to the poison and Emily and Casey made a full recovery. Having seen their devotion to each other, Tom and Margo finally accepted the relationship. However, Emily still felt uneasy about marrying Casey so quickly and convinced him to get their marriage annulled.
Afterwards, Casey began a relationship with Alison, Emily’s sister. Though a jealous Emily tried to put a stop to the relationship by having Jade seduce Casey, Alison found out and foiled the plan. Meanwhile, thanks to his volunteer work at the hospital, Casey was permitted to take some classes at Oakdale U again. As the months went by, Casey and Alison’s relationship continued to flourish and they finally made love. Meanwhile, the Hughes family received word that Adam had been killed in a bombing in Afghanistan. At the same time, Riley, a mysterious young man claiming to be Adam’s friend, insinuated himself into their lives. Though Margo instantly welcomed Riley into their home, Casey was suspicious. Later, after Margo was shot in the line of duty, she revealed a startling secret—Riley was Adam! According to Adam, he'd been in a bombing in Afghanistan and had to have facial grafts that had changed his appearance. Adam had used the opportunity to return to Oakdale to seek forgiveness from his family. Casey was angry that Adam had lied to his family yet again, but for Margo's sake, Casey agreed not to tell Tom. Eventually, Margo told Tom the truth about Riley/Adam. After Tom angrily confronted him, Adam turned himself in to the police. Thanks to testimony from Maddie, stating that her having buried him alive may have led to his violent behavior, and a plea of leniency from Tom, the case against Adam was dismissed. Unfortunately, Adam disappointed his family again by skipping town without saying goodbye.
Weeks later, Casey surprised Alison by asking her to marry him. Unfortunately, despite her new engagement to Casey, Alison could not resist a researcher named Mick Dante who Alison saw as a tortured man. Casey and Alison's relationship fell apart when Mick, who’d been brainwashed by James Stenbeck, crashed Alison's wedding. Mick took the guests hostage and revealed that he'd slept with Alison. Alison convinced Mick to flee with her, but once he returned to himself, he asked that she go with him only of her own volition. Mick trained a gun on Casey, and Margo drew her weapon on Mick, who suddenly flung himself in front of a passing car. Mick regained consciousness and claimed to Alison that she'd exorcized his James demon. Alison wheeled him to the hospital roof for fresh air, but Casey accused them of escaping. After a dangerous confrontation with Casey, Mick fled, but later turned himself in.
His relationship with Alison over, Casey was seduced by Vienna Hyatt. Though Casey was smitten, Alison didn’t trust Vienna not to hurt Casey and warned him that getting involved with her was a mistake. Alison turned out to be correct. Realizing that Alison was the woman he loved, Casey asked her to marry him and move to Carbondale, where he intended to enroll in law school. She also shared her dream of eventually becoming a doctor. With their future looking bright, Casey and Alison left their families for a new life in Carbondale.