UM Student Involved With Yreka Court Explosion Appears in Court [YouTube]
A female University of Montana student, 18 year-old Virginia Marie Ervin, appeared in Missoula Justice Court on Monday to face felony drug and tampering with evidence charges, along with a misdemeanor child endangerment charge, after a drug explosion that occurred on October 12.
Chief Criminal Deputy County Attorney Jason Marks asked Judge Amy Blixt to keep Ervin's bail at $25,000 after officials listened in on a phone conversation between Ervin and fellow suspect Patrick Austin.
"In the course of the jail phone calls between Ms. Ervin and Patrick Austin, there had been discussion about her leaving the state to make herself unavailable, and that was one of the concerns I expressed to the judge," Marks said. Via video from the jail, Ervin told the judge that she never intended to leave town.
Judge Blixt set bail at $25,000 and remanded Ervin back to the jail. She will make another court appearance in November.
According to court documents, Ervin removed a backpack belonging to fellow suspect Patrick Austin, that contained money, drugs and a cellphone from the apartment while it was being searched by law enforcement.
She also allegedly removed drugs from the apartment, and between the date of the explosion and October 23, she collected money owed to Austin for the distribution of dangerous drugs.
Court records go on to indicate that Ervin failed to remove her infant daughter from the apartment where butane hash oil extraction was taking place, leading to the child being injured in the explosion and fire.
The incident occurred at 1010 Yreka Court, one of the family residence apartment buildings reserved for University of Montana students. The explosion shattered the windows in the apartment, and sent glass fragments and marijuana buds over 50 feet into the street and surrounding sidewalks.
Austin appeared in justice court on October 14, and was remanded to the jail on $50,000 bond.
In addition to criminal charges, Ervin may also face punishment from the University of Montana that may include restitution charges and even expulsion from the University.
According to University rules, no illegal drugs are allowed in any campus housing. Vice President for Integrated Communications, Peggy Kuhr, said the procedure involved with violations of the student conduct code are private, and that even if Ervin was expelled, the fact would not be made public.