A mental-health evaluation of failed Youngstown mayoral candidate John M. Crea shows he cannot understand the criminal charges he’s facing and cannot provide assistance in his defense.
After reading excerpts of the evaluation from Forensic Psychiatric Center of Northeast Ohio on Friday in Youngstown Municipal Court, Judge Robert P. Milich ordered Crea to be sent to Heartland Behavioral Health Care, a state mental-health facility in Massillon, for psychiatric treatment.
The judge said the evaluation from Forensic, an Austintown firm, determined there is the “probability” Crea could understand his criminal acts in time with the proper treatment.
The judge scheduled a Jan. 6 hearing to track Crea’s mental competency.
In Tuesday’s mayoral election, Crea received 85 votes, or 0.80 of 1 percent of the total vote. Crea, an independent, finished a distant fourth, last among candidates whose names appeared on the ballot. But Crea beat two write-in candidates.
Crea should be sent to Heartland in about a week. It isn’t known how long he’ll stay there.
Crea pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity Oct. 10 to a probation violation and three counts of aggravated menacing.
He was arrested Oct. 2 on charges he threatened three people on East Midlothian Boulevard on Sept. 30.
Crea’s been in the Mahoning County jail since his arrest, unable to pay his $15,000 bond.
On Sept. 19, Judge Milich found Crea guilty of aggravated menacing and disorderly conduct.
Crea was arrested on those two charges Aug. 30, and the judge sentenced him to time served for the 21 days he was in county jail after he couldn’t pay the $7,000 bond.
The judge also ordered Crea to undergo a mental-health evaluation that was scheduled for Oct. 1. Crea never showed for that evaluation.
If Crea is ruled competent, he would stand trial for the charges stemming from the Oct. 2 arrest, said James Denney, his attorney.
“If found temporarily insane, the charges could be dismissed,” he said.
Denney added that he would ask the judge to overturn Crea’s Sept. 19 convictions because Crea should have pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to those counts, too. Denney wasn’t Crea’s attorney in that case.