KIRKERSVILLE, Ohio – Police Chief of Kirkersville James Hughes Jr. A police chief from Ohio died of an overdose of fentanyl, according to a Friday autopsy report.
Kirksville's 35-year-old chief of police, James Hughes Jr., was found unresponsive in the bathroom of his home in Reynoldsburg on May 25. A short time later, he was pronounced dead.
An autopsy was performed by the Franklin County Coroner's Office and results released Friday indicated Hughes died of "acute intoxication by fentanyl."
The coroner described Hughes's death as accidental. This is the classification that will be assigned to most overdoses, unless the officials believe that the suicide was the intention.
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According to forensic doctors, two syringes were taken and tested for the presence of substances that may have contributed to the death of Hughes.
One syringe did not contain any drugs, the other was positive for fentanyl. A plastic sandwich bag found on site was also tested positive for cocaine and a third syringe containing a liquid was determined to be positive for fentanyl.
Hughes was named police chief on 13 March during a two-minute special session of the village council. His appointment came less than a week after former head Jeff Finley unexpectedly resigned, citing irreconcilable differences with Mayor Terry Ashcraft.
Finley took over the department's leadership in October 2017, five months after Chief Steven Eric DiSario was killed on May 12, 2017, in a threefold murder at the village's Pine Kirk Care Center.
Before his death, the village planned to increase Hughes' weekly schedule from 20 hours to 32 hours. He made $ 14 an hour at the time of his death.
Hughes' varied history was discovered by The Advocate after his recruitment in Kirkersville. The Mayor and Council members hesitated or refused to answer any questions about this story, including a Whitehall condemnation for misconduct in an incident in 2013 in a fast food restaurant where Hughes used a racial fraud.
Hughes had also been the subject of several investigations by his former law enforcement employers, including at least three during a 14-month timeframe working in the Fairfield County Sheriff's Office.
Hughes had also worked for the Brice Police Department, the Valleyview Police Department and the Ohio Health Police Department.
The village has not yet named a replacement for Hughes. In June, the council agreed to provide $ 1,500 to Hughes' family to cover the cost of his funeral.
The lawyer asked Ashcraft for an opinion, but has not received an answer since Friday afternoon.