Ohio Police Chief Dies After Overdosing On Drugs He Stole From Evidence Room

A 35-year-old police chief from Ohio has died from an overdose after taking drugs from his department’s evidence room.

James Hughes, who was the Kirkersville Police Chief, was found dead in his Reynoldsburg home bathroom in May. An investigation by the Reynoldsburg police department revealed the drugs may have been evidence from other cases. Lt. Ron Wright, of Reynoldsburg police, said Hughes had taken the drugs from the evidence room.

“There was packaging that indicated that he was taking controlled substances from there,” Wright said, according to the Newark Advocate.

Police recovered two syringes from the scene—one empty and one containing fentanyl, a painkiller. The autopsy report ruled Hughes died of acute intoxication of fentanyl. There was also a small plastic bag at the scene which contained traces of cocaine.

If it is proved that Hughes took the drugs from his own evidence room, no one would be charged with his death. Wright said he will hand the case to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office once it closed in the next few weeks.

“It’s kind of gone beyond our level. You’re talking about another agency’s property room. We think the state should probably intervene. There appeared to be some practices happening out there that probably someone from the state AG’s office should probably look into.”

According to NBC4i, Hughes was appointed police chief in March to replace Jeff Finley, who left because of hostile work environment and differences with the Kirkersville Mayor, Terry Ashcraft.

Hughes was working 20 hours a week for $14 an hour. He was about to have his workload increased to 32 hours. The Kirkersville Council paid $1,500 towards Hughes’ funeral.

The Newark Advocate revealed that Hughes had a misdemeanor conviction on his record from 2013 when he used a racial slur during an incident at a fast food restaurant.

In May, police in Florida arrested the parents of an 8-month old baby after the infant died of an overdose of fentanyl and cocaine. David Williams Chappele Jr, 29, and 27-year-old Jessica Marie Strickland have been charged with aggravated manslaughter of a child following the death of the baby on September 6, 2017.

Officers from the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office were called to an address in Cocoa, Florida, following reports of an unresponsive 8-month old baby. The child was taken to hospital, where it was later pronounced dead.

During the investigation, it was found that Chappele and Strickland had placed a mattress on the floor so they could sleep with the baby between them.

It is alleged that Chappele was wearing multiple fentanyl patches at the time, which were cut in half, and a lethal amount of fentanyl residue was then transferred to the baby. The child is also believed to have ingested cocaine at the house as Strickland was using the drug while caring for the infant, the department said.

Source: https://www.newsweek.com/ohio-police-chief-dies-after-overdosing-drugs-he-stole-evidence-room-1053695