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As election nears, Youngstown mayoral candidate awaiting mental-health evaluation



Published: Thu, October 24, 2013 @ 12:08 a.m.

By David Skolnick

skolnick@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Unless mayoral candidate John M. Crea can post $15,000 bond to get out of jail — something he hasn’t done since his Oct. 2 arrest — he’ll spend the Nov. 5 election behind bars.

Crea, an independent candidate, remains in the Mahoning County jail after pleading not guilty by reason of insanity last week on a probation violation and three counts of aggravated menacing.

After his Oct. 2 arrest, he was ordered to undergo a mental-health evaluation and held in jail on $15,000 bond.

At a Wednesday court status hearing, it was learned that Crea has yet to undergo that evaluation.

Judge Robert P. Milich of Youngstown Municipal Court ruled at that hearing that Crea would return to court at 9 a.m. Nov. 8 for a competency hearing, presuming his mental-health evaluation would be done by then.

A mental-health evaluation takes about 30 to 60 days to complete and then is sent to a judge, said city Prosecutor Dana Lantz.

As of Wednesday, Crea hadn’t had an evaluation.

There are so many people in need of such evaluations, Lantz said, that unfortunately there is a backlog.

Crea was supposed to have a mental-health evaluation Oct. 1 from previous convictions, but failed to show. Police say he threatened three people on East Midlothian Boulevard on Sept. 30.

On Sept. 19, Judge Milich found Crea guilty of aggravated menacing and disorderly conduct. He was arrested on those charges Aug. 30, and the judge sentenced him to time served for the 21 days he was in county jail as well as $390 in fines and court costs, one year’s probation and to undergo a mental-health evaluation.

Crea spent the 21 days in jail because he couldn’t pay the $7,000 bond.

Police say Crea threatened to kill a security guard at city hall and to have his dog attack the guard, a retired county sheriff’s deputy, on Aug. 30.


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