by: Jennifer Rodriguez

MAHONING COUNTY, Ohio (WKBN) – A Mahoning County attorney has been suspended and is in jail after allegations of misconduct.

The Mahoning County Bar Association filed a motion with the Ohio Supreme Court for an interim remedial suspension of Ohio attorney Krishna James. On February 14, the Ohio Supreme Court granted the suspension with conditions for his return.

This was done after James had several run-ins with law enforcement and was eventually arrested in New Castle with serious charges, according to court documents.

James was arrested on January 1 and is currently in the Lawrence County Jail.

A motion filed with the Ohio Supreme Court alleges that James possesses “a substantial threat of serious harm to the public.” Some of it has been attributed to an “altered mental state” at the time of the incidents.

According to a memorandum, A New Castle Police report states that on January 1, James entered the New Castle main fire station at around 7 a.m. He walked around the station picking up different tools and damaged an already damaged door with a hammer and an ax and severed the cable that raises and lowers the door.

The report says he woke up firefighters who were sleeping in the station’s living quarters and
told them he was ready for the “coming siege.” When a firefighter asked him why he had a screwdriver, he showed a pistol and said, “So I don’t have to use this.”

Firefighters were able to escort him out, but James left before police arrived. Shortly after, New Castle police were called to the Lawrence County Community Action Partnership building for an alarm call. When officers got there, they found an open door, two spent shell casings, and two bullet holes in the ceiling near a siren speaker, reports said.

A video showed two flashes which appeared to be James firing two shots at the alarm system. Not long after, the 911 call center received a call about a suspect, later determined to be James, attempting to get into the McGonagle Ambulance Station on the corner of Jefferson and Falls Street.

New Castle police put out a countywide alert for James’ vehicle and later found him in the vehicle at another location. The report states when police confronted him he got out of his car, refused to comply and identified himself as an Ohio attorney.

James was shot twice with “less-lethal sponge rounds” and taken into custody, according to the report. He was treated at UPMC Jamison Medical Center for minor injuries from the sponge bullets. Officers recovered a loaded 9mm handgun from his vehicle, the memorandum says.

He was taken to the Lawrence County Jail and given a $100,000.00 bond.

During his arrest, officers found he also had two felony charges pending in Ohio, both for separate incidents in 2021 for possession of drugs.

Both incidents happened in Trumbull County on July 27, 2021, when the Girard City police department responded to a call of a male suspect in the woods behind a cemetery. When police arrived, they found James near a vehicle that appeared to be stuck on a log. James was seen “bending small trees into the ground and interlocking them,” according to the report.

James was arrested for criminal trespassing and police say they found two small bags of suspected methamphetamine in his vehicle, as well as a buprenorphine/naloxone strip. According to the report, he failed to appear for arraignment on the charge, and a bench warrant was issued.

The second incident happened on September 4, 2021, in Liberty Township. Police responded to a Dollar General for a suspect, later identified as James, who was in an altered mental state.

When they got there, police discovered the active bench warrant and took James in custody. That’s when they found two clear plastic baggies containing a white powdery substance, cut plastic straws with white residue, and two rolls of burnt tinfoil with burnt residue in James’ car, according to the report.

A felony possession charge, and a misdemeanor paraphernalia charge, were filed in Girard Municipal Court on January 11, 2022, and another bench warrant was issued.

The memorandum states over the past six months, police have been called various times to find James trespassing in an altered mental state. It also states it’s unknown whether this altered mental state is a result of a mental disorder, a substance-abuse disorder, some other disorder or a combination of all.

A competency evaluation is pending in the Pennsylvania case. The Lawrence County case is on hold awaiting completion of the pending competency evaluation, and the two Ohio cases are on hold until the Pennsylvania case is completed.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with mental health issues, or drug addiction there are resources that can help. You can reach the Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services 24/7 care line at 1-800-720-9616 or the Pennsylvania Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services here.