Patient acquitted of murder by reason of insanity escapes Texas hospital; search continues

·1 min read
Courtesy: Vernon Police Department

A man who was acquitted of the murder of his father by reason of insanity escaped a state hospital in North Texas and has yet to be found, the Vernon Police Department said in a Facebook post.

North Texas State Hospital in Vernon, in Wilbarger County near the Oklahoma-Texas border, told police that Alexander Ervin was missing from the hospital shortly after 7:30 a.m. Monday.

Police reported that Ervin left his dorm at 9 p.m. on Sunday and was seen on video climbing an 8-foot fence and leaving the hospital campus around 9:15 p.m., headed north on foot.

Police said Ervin is considered armed and dangerous.

Ervin is described as a white man, 29 years old, 5 feet 8 inches to 6 feet tall, approximately 206 pounds and is bald with a mustache. He was last seen wearing a gray zip-up hoodie, black shirt, tan pants and black shoes.

The Austin American-Statesman reported in 2014 that defense attorneys argued Alexander Ervin was suffering from a psychotic episode of delusions and paranoia when he stabbed and killed Ray Scott Ervin in Austin in 2013. Prosecutors argued there was aggression from Alexander Ervin toward his family, motivated by an argument that he was spending too much money.

The American-Statesman also reported that police and emergency medical personnel who went to the family’s home in west Austin on the night of the killing found Alexander Ervin “calm and quiet, though he was scratched, beaten and covered in blood.”

District Judge Cliff Brown committed Ervin to a state hospital for 30 days for evaluation, and he then continued the commitment. As of April, a magistrate ordered Ervin’s commitment to the state hospital to continue, the Associated Press reported.

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