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Crime News

Prisoner Who Escaped Virginia Psychiatric Hospital On Easter Still At Large

Bryant M. Wilkerson and Austin Preston Leigh escaped Eastern State Hospital in Williamsburg, Virginia over the weekend, according to authorities. Leigh was apprehended, but Wilkerson remains at large.

By Chambolion Fairley
Police photos of missing convicted felons Bryant Wilkerson Austin Leigh

One of the two prisoners who escaped from a Virginia psychiatric hospital on Sunday is still at large, according to state police. 

Bryant M. Wilkerson, 29, and Austin Preston Leigh, 31, escaped Eastern State Hospital in Williamsburg, Virginia on Easter. That same evening, Leigh was arrested and taken into custody by Chesapeake Police Department. 

Records show that he is being held in Chesapeake Jail without bond. 

According to the inmate roster, Leigh has multiple court appearances scheduled this week, his first one being on Monday. He currently has 14 charges filed against him – eight felonies and six misdemeanors.

According to WTVR, Leigh told police that he did not know of Wilkerson or his whereabouts. 

Wilkerson is still at large facing outstanding warrants on file and is considered to be armed and dangerous. 

He is wanted on a felony probation violation and has a warrant for escaping the mental facility.

Local residents told local outlet WAVY TV 10 that they were surprised to hear about people being able to escape the hospital. 

“I never thought about people escaping before,” Dominic Ribock told the outlet.

“I assumed they were more protective than that. I didn’t think it could happen,” another resident, Paul Barrientos, toldl WAVY TV 10.

Wilkerson was arrested back in November 2020 for armed robbery in a Food Lion parking lot, according to WAVY TV 10. 

Authorities had been responding to an armed suspect who had stolen a laptop or tablet from a victim at gunpoint. Deputies pursued Wilkerson in a vehicle and eventually apprehended him in Chesapeake. 

At the time of his arrest, Wilkerson faced a long list of charges including violation of a protective order, two counts of robbery of a resident, two counts of a convicted felon possessing a firearm, and 2 counts of abduction by force, reported WAVY TV 10. 

Anyone with information on Wilkerson or his whereabouts should contact Virginia State Police at 757-424-6800 or email VSP at questions@vsp.virginia.gov.