Man who killed his father, but was acquitted by jury by reason of insanity, escapes from mental health hospital where he was committed


VERNON, TX- According to the Vernon Police Department (VPD), a patient who was being held on murder charges from Travis County, escaped from the North Texas State Hospital just before 10:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 26th.

The man, identified as 29-year-old Alexander Scott Ervin, was acquitted by reason of insanity of murder in the 2013 stabbing death of his father in Austin. The hospital he has escaped from is where he was committed to after being acquitted.

According to reports, staff at the North Texas State Hospital advised police that Ervin was found missing from the hospital shortly after 7:30 a.m. on Monday, June 27th.

A review of the hospital’s security footage revealed that Ervin left his dormitory room around 9:00 p.m., Sunday, June 26th and scaled the hospital’s eight-foot security fence before heading north on foot around 9:15 p.m.

Police have warned the public that Ervin is to be considered “armed and dangerous.” He is about six feet tall and weighs about 206 pounds. At the time he was last seen, he was bald and had a mustache. He was last seen wearing a gray zip-up hoodie, black shirt, tan pants, and black shoes.

In 2014, a Travis County jury found Ervin, who is autistic, not guilty of murder by reason of insanity in his father, Ray Scott Ervin’s death.

Police and medical first responders were dispatched to Ervins’ home in west Austin and upon arrival at the scene, they found the suspect calm and quiet, scratched, beaten and covered in blood.

Ervin’s brother, Maxwell Ervin, testified that his brother attacked his father with a pipe wrench and a folding knife, alleged that Ray Ervin was an imposter. Maxwell also testified that Ervin claimed to be a trained member of the CIA and was on a mission to kill the father.

Reportedly, jurors deliberated for about 10 hours before acquitting the defendant. In April, a magistrate ordered Ervin’s commitment to continue at a state mental hospital.

Police are encouraging anyone with any information on Ervins’ whereabouts to contact Crime Stoppers at 940-552-5011 or 800-322-9888. Crime Stoppers is willing to pay up top $500 for information leading to an arrest.

In a separate incident, a man who had escaped from a psychiatric unit at St. Charles Bend on the morning of June 20th, returned to the hospital later that evening and was taken into custody by police.

St. Charles staff called 911 around 11:20 p.m. to report that 41-year-old Jeremey Owen Allbritton arrived at the hospital. Police responded and within 10 minutes, he was taken into custody.

Allbritton was booked into the Deschutes County Jail on charges of coercion, menacing, fourth-degree assault and harassment, as well as two Deschutes County warrants, a California warrant, and a violation of his release agreement.

Shortly after it was reported that Allbritton was missing, police issued a public alert warning of the “very dangerous” individual” who recently assaulted hospital staff.

The week before his escape, Allbritton went before a judge who deemed him “mentally defective” and civilly committed him for treatment. Sergeant Tommy Russell said in a statement:

“It’s supposed to be a secure facility, so this is very rare. He is extremely dangerous and was deemed by a judge to be mentally unfit to be in society.”

In May, Allbritton was indicted in Jackson County on fourth-degree assault (domestic violence) and second-degree criminal mischief charges, accusing of injuring a woman and damaging her vehicle.

Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters?  Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you.  Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories.  Click to check it out.

LET Unity

Two of four escaped Mississippi inmates found hiding in plain sight, working in a restaurant

April 26th, 2022

HERNANDO, MI – Four inmates who escaped the Desoto County Detention Facility in Mississippi last Friday are back behind bars after pretty much hiding in plain sight for 36 hours.

Officials from the Desoto County Sheriff’s Department held a press conference to explain what led to the escape and where the inmates were captured.

Chief Deputy Justin Smith said the four men, all trustees working in the kitchen as cooks, had escaped through a door during a delivery to the jail and headed to Memphis, Tennessee, which is about 30 miles north.


Cesar Gonzalez and Jose Vasquez  went with what they knew and were captured working at El Molino, a Mexican restaurant off Summer Avenue in the Memphis suburb of Bartlett. The other two, Cesar Martinez and Juan Monsivais, were caught about six miles west of El Molino, walking on North Graham Street.

In addition to the time all four men are already serving, they will now be charged with escape and will never be able to work as trustees in any jail system in the future, Smith said.

Isidro Torres, one of the owners at El Molino, said the pair came to him asking for two days of work so they could make money for food. He said he offered them work pressure washing in the back and taking out the garbage. He noted that one said he had experience waiting tables.

Torres told WREG News Channel 3 that he had no idea the men were escapees, and didn’t think it was suspicious because they were working out in the open.

“I don’t see the news. Somebody looking for these guys or whatever. Somebody come asking for job, apply, put in, fill out paperwork. That’s a different story. But these guys just asked to work for food.”

Torres said they asked to work for two days for food, and he agreed. He said:

“For two days, why not? You make it clean, organize it. The garbage can, make it clean.”

The Sheriff’s Department said that all four men were in for non-violent felony charges, something for which Torres said he was grateful. He added:

“You never know, but I was not thinking that.”

The men were captured within 36 hours of walking away from the facility.

Smith said officials are unaware of any crimes that were committed by the four men during their escape.

The inmates, who each were convicted of non-violent offenses, are likely to face about five years for the escape, officials said. Smith said it was the first escape in the facility’s 10-year history. Smith said:

“I will note, the jail facility has been open for a decade. And, this is the first escape we have had. We have not had an escape since 2006.”

Without going into detail, Smith said the men abused the trust given them and they walked away during a delivery. He said:

“I can tell you, they were trustees working in the kitchen area. They managed to slip out of a door during a delivery.” 

The incident remains under investigation but the Desoto Sheriff’s Department said it has tightened security since the escape.

Two escaped inmates from Wisconsin prison show up shivering at shelter asking for help

April 17, 2020

COLUMBIA COUNTY, WI Two inmates that had escaped from the Columbia Correctional Institution in Wisconsin on April 16th were reported as being recaptured as of April 17th. While the duo might have been crafty enough to escape, apparently avoiding capture is not their forte.

CCI inmates Thomas Deering and James Newman were recently apprehended in Rockford, Illinois, according to the Rockford Police Department. The RPD made mention of the apprehension via Twitter, saying the two had been seen at Miss Carly’s shelter.

The woman who runs the shelter in Rockford had noticed that two men in prison attire had come to the shelter. According to a Facebook post on the shelter’s page, she offered the men coffee after secretively contacting police about their presence.

She noted that she had recognized the two men as the ones who escaped from prison the day before:

“They had emergency blankets stuffed under their clothing. They looked just like the kind of people we want to help….but they weren’t. I recognized them right away. They had escaped from prison in Wisconsin.”

Deering and Newman are reportedly no strangers to escapes. Prior to them being transferred to CCI in Wisconsin, which is a maximum-security prison, they were noted as having escaped previous institutions. Investigators believed that these two had managed to scale a fence to exit the facility.

It’s good to know that these two were captured, as they’ve got some serious criminal histories.

Man who killed his father, but was acquitted by jury by reason of insanity, escapes from mental health hospital where he was committed
James Newman (left) and Thomas Deering – Portage Police Dept.

Deering has a rap sheet going back 20 years, with convictions of kidnapping, three counts of second-degree sexual assault, burglary, escape, and battery. He was moved to the maximum-security prison in 2003 after he’d escaped from Waupun Correctional Facility in 2002.

As for Newman, he’s hosting some hefty convictions since 2009. He has been convicted of six charges of discharging a firearm, escape, kidnapping, and theft. He snagged his first escape back in 2012 from a supervised living facility that was settled in Jackson County.

Overall, it was a tense 24-hour period that came to a great end. Perhaps these two should be considered for isolation cells for a bit, considering they can’t seem to help but to try and make a run for it.

Earlier this month, we reported on another monumental suspect that was captured in Conway, South Carolina.

After nearly a month had passed since retired Lieutenant James Odell Cochran was found deceased in his home, his suspected killer was finally put behind bars in South Carolina after weeks of searching by police.

According to WMBF’s Ian Klein, Horry County Police began the pursuit on March 5 after officers responded to a call of suspicious activity at a residence just outside of Myrtle Beach. There, they found the body of Lieutenant Cochran who had already succumbed to wounds consistent with a homicide.

Investigators were led on a search for a stolen 2004 Chevy Silverado. The vehicle was eventually located but without sign of their suspect– 22 year old Erick Kwajae-Mikhail Faulk. For several weeks to follow, area police advised the community to be on the lookout for Faulk, who was described as being armed and dangerous.

This was not Faulk’s first run-in with the law. The homeless man was arrested in 2017 for having received stolen goods valued less than $2,000 and obtaining property or a signature under false pretenses, Klein reports. Later in the same month, Faulk’s criminal activity became much more dangerous and he was charged with not only larceny but also third degree assault and battery.

During the month-long search for Lieutenant Cochran’s killer, his family anguished over the loss. Reat Gore, Cochran’s little sister, said:

“I just want justice served, I want him to be found I really do.”

Her pleas were answered on April 1 when Erick Kwajae-Mikhail was located and charged with murder and possession of a deadly weapon during a violent crime, WMBF reports. He was booked at the J. Reuben Long Detention Center.

Lieutenant Cochran dedicated his life to serving his community. He joined the force in 1978 and retired in 2003. However, his retirement would not be long as he rejoined the department as a community service officer after only one month of retirement.

He gave another 13 years in the role of community service officer which seemed to suit him, Myrtle Beach Online’s Alex Lang reports. Conway Police Chief Dale Long was a rookie officer when he first met Cochran. He was impressed with the Lieutenant’s natural ease in diffusing tensions.

Chief Long said:

“When he showed up, he was calm, he was a stabilizing (figure). When he showed up, it was just like magic.”

There are no reports of any particular motive in the senseless killing which leaves loved ones and colleagues without many answers. Cochran’s childhood best friend Larry Jones recalled the character of his old friend. He told stories of growing up together but also of how his friend served in uniform.

He said:

“I truly believe Odell displayed love.”

After nearly 40 years, Lieutenant Cochran left a powerful legacy.

The City of Conway Police commented:

“Those who worked with him over the years are deeply saddened, but everyone has a special moment they remember working alongside him. The Conway Police Department would like to thank members of the community for their support during this time as we extend our prayers and support to the family of one of our own, Odell Cochran.”

However, perhaps the greatest recognition of Lieutenant Cochran’s character came from Chief Long who said:

“He was always a positive role model for anyone under his leadership… Just because he is gone, doesn’t mean his difference is.”

Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today?  With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.  

Make sure you click “following” and then click “see first” so you don’t miss a thing!  (See image below.)  Thanks for being a part of the LET family!
Facebook Follow First
Submit a Correction
Related Posts