The mother of an Austin man acquitted by reason of insanity in the 2013 murder of his father is terrified for the public after his escape from a state hospital near Wichita Falls on Sunday.
Leslie Ervin said when her son, 29-year-old Alexander Scott Ervin, who she calls Lex, was committed she felt relief that he would be safe and everyone else would be safe. She said she never imagined he'd be able to escape the maximum-security facility in Vernon near the Oklahoma border.
"I was terrified. My first thought was that I was terrified for Lex, then I was terrified for my family. Then I was terrified for the community," said Leslie Ervin.
Hospital security video showed Ervin leaving his dormitory room, scaling North Texas State Hospital's eight-foot security fence and running off headed north at about 9:15 p.m. Hospital staff found he was missing shortly after 7:30 a.m. Monday.
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Ervin is considered armed and dangerous, police said.
In 2014, a Travis County jury found Ervin, who is autistic, not guilty of murder by reason of insanity in the 2013 death of his father, Ray Scott Ervin.
Ervin’s younger brother, Max Ervin, told the court his brother claimed to be a trained CIA assassin on a mission to kill his father, who he believed was an "imposter," and that Alexander attacked their father with a pipe wrench and knife.
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Jurors deliberated for about 10 hours before acquitting Alexander Ervin. As recently as this April, a magistrate ordered Ervin’s commitment to continue at a state mental hospital.
Marc Chavez, who prosecuted the case is also concerned about Ervin not being under a doctor's care.
"His mental health not being treated is a huge concern, because I've seen the effects, through trial, and through the examination of trial, of what can happen if his mental health is not addressed," said Chavez.
Leslie Ervin said her son has been medicated for many years and the public needs to be warned that unmedicated her son could be violent and dangerous.
“I love him, but he committed murder. And now, because of some incompetence at North Texas State Hospital, he’s now on the street,” she said.
Ervin stands between 5 feet 8 inches tall and 6 feet tall and weighs about 206 pounds. He's bald with a mustache and was last seen wearing a gray zip-up hoodie, black shirt, tan pants and black shoes, according to Vernon Police.
Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call 911.
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