- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 20, 2018

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The Latest on a patient at the Arkansas state hospital for the criminally insane who left the hospital without authorization with a hospital psychologist (all times local):

7:50 p.m.

A mental patient who left the Arkansas State Hospital with a staff psychologist without authorization had engineered a previous escape.

Cory Chapin was committed to the hospital after he was acquitted in 2015 by reason of mental illness of attempted kidnapping, theft, unauthorized use of a vehicle and drug possession. Court records show that he was given a 48-hour pass to leave with his father in February 2016 and fled the state. He remained a fugitive until he was recaptured in Las Vegas last October.

Hospital officials say hospital psychologist Michelle Messer used her access to the hospital’s forensic unit to walk Chapin from the hospital Tuesday and leave in her personal car. Hospital officials have requested a bench warrant for the arrest of both.


5:45 p.m.

Arkansas authorities are looking for a worker and a patient from the state hospital who left the facility without authorization.

The Department of Human Services said a staff member used access to the hospital’s forensic unit to walk the patient out of the facility Tuesday. Hospital police say they drove away in a blue Mazda 3S Grand Touring Car with Arkansas plates 502RBD.

A hospital police bulletin identifies the staff member as psychologist Michelle Messer and the patient as 46-year-old Cory Chapin. DHS said Messer will be terminated once located.

The DHS website says the hospital’s 24-bed forensic service area assesses and treats patients with mental illnesses who are accused of a crime. The site says all people in the unit have been court-ordered to undergo evaluation or treatment.

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