Austin man acquitted of killing father after insanity plea escapes North Texas hospital

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An Austin man on Sunday escaped the North Texas hospital he had been committed to after a Travis County jury in 2014 found him not guilty by reason of insanity for the violent killing of his father in their West Austin home, according to the Vernon Police Department.

Video surveillance captured Alexander Ervin, 29, leaving his dorm around 9 p.m. before climbing a fence and leaving the hospital grounds, heading north, Vernon police said. Hospital staff called police about the missing patient Monday morning.

Alexander Ervin was charged with murder in connection with his father's death in 2013.
Alexander Ervin was charged with murder in connection with his father's death in 2013.

"Law enforcement departments are continuing an extensive search of the area," Vernon police said Monday afternoon.

Ervin is bald and has a mustache, Vernon police said. He weighs about 200 pounds and is between 5-feet-8-inches tall and 6-feet tall. He was last seen wearing a gray zip-up hoodie, a black shirt, tan pants and black shoes.

Vernon police said Ervin is considered armed and dangerous, but did not say why they think he's armed. Anyone who sees him should not approach him and should call 911, sharing as many details as possible, police said.

During Ervin's 2014 trial, in which he was acquitted of a murder charge, his defense attorneys said he had been going through a psychotic episode of delusions and paranoia the evening he stabbed and killed his 58-year-old father, Ray Scott Ervin. Prosecutors argued that Alexander Ervin had a pattern of aggression toward his family.

His brother told jurors that Alexander Ervin had assailed their father with a pipe wrench and a folding knife, claiming that his dad was an impostor and that Alexander was a trained member of the CIA on a mission to kill him.

On the stand, Alexander Ervin rambled about the attack, telling jurors that it was in self-defense and that he did not remember ever calling his father an impostor.

This article originally appeared on Austin American-Statesman: Austin man acquitted of murder in insanity plea escapes Texas hospital