MEDINA, Ohio — Samuel Legg III, an Arizona man who has been extradited back to Northeast Ohio to face charges in connection with a rape from 1997, was ordered to undergo further psychological treatment at his competency hearing Friday morning. An independent psychologist determined Legg, who has also been linked to four homicides in the 1990s, had not responded well to prescription medication and remains psychotic.
After his competency evaluation, the court adopted a doctor's recommendation for Legg to undergo psychological treatment at Northcoast Behavioral Healthcare for a period not to exceed four months.
“My position is that he is competent and he will be competent and that’s what we are going to pursue,” said Medina County Prosecutor Forrest Thompson. “I can’t allude to the contents of the report but I would say that in my read and in my evaluation of it, it was conflicting as to both the level of his participation and the accuracy of his involvement.”
In February, Legg was indicted on two counts of rape in connection with the sexual assault of a woman he met a truck stop. Authorities were able to identify Legg, who is a former long-haul truck driver, as a suspect through familial DNA. In that process, Legg’s DNA was also positively linked to at least four other unsolved homicides dating back to the 1990s. One of the homicides occurred in Illinois, authorities said.
Legg has also been indicted in one of those unsolved homicides, the 1992 slaying of Sharon Kedzierski. On April 9, 1992, a woman’s body was found at a truck stop on Interstate 80 near Route 46 in Austintown, Ohio, which is near Youngstown. Authorities say she died from multiple blunt force injuries to the head, face and chest. Kedzierski would be listed as a Jane Doe for more than two decades before she was identified.
When Legg was indicted earlier this year, he had been living in a group home for the mentally ill in a suburb of Phoenix, Arizona. According to marriage and divorce records, Legg appears to have moved to Arizona in late 2000 or 2001. His interaction with the courts system was largely quiet, aside from two marriages. Both marriages ended in divorce within two years.
At some point in 2015, police reports suggest Legg was court ordered to receive mental health treatment. He was also required to live at the group home. However, Legg frequently escaped the group home or walked away from group home-related activities.
In March 2016, Legg, who was in his late 40s at the time, jumped out of the bedroom window. The caregiver at the group home told the responding officer that Legg had been diagnosed with depression, anxiety, neurosyphilis and delusions, according to a police report.
“Legg’s behavior and cognitive delusions and hallucinations were worsening,” the report states.
Police found Legg two days later, after a homeowner called police saying there was a suspicious man standing in their driveway.
In 2017, Legg was be labeled a missing person multiple times.
In February of that year, staff from the group home brought Legg to a church. Instead of going to the restroom, Legg walked out the front door.
“[Legg] is on medication for schizophrenia,” the police report states. “He hears voices that tell him he is needed in court in Tucson. [Group home staff member] said [Legg] has solicited rides from truck drivers previously to get to Tucson and has been found miles away from the group home in the past.”
Legg would again disappear in March 2017, including twice in a seven-day span. He also was missing for brief periods of time in October and December 2018. In each of the reports filed in conjunction with those cases, Legg was described as having a severe mental illness, possibly suffering from neurosyphilis.
Upon being charged in Medina County, the court ordered Legg to undergo a mental evaluation to determine whether he was competent enough to assist in his own defense.
Judge Joyce Kimbler read a summary of the report at a hearing Friday morning.
“In the report, the doctor indicates that it is recommended that Mr. Legg be ordered to undergo treatment for competency restoration pursuant to [state statute],” Judge Kimbler said. “It is of the opinion of [the doctor] that Mr. Legg is currently taking psychotropic medications but he remains psychotic. Records indicate his condition has not responded well to pharmacological intervention.”
While Thompson disagreed with the doctor’s findings, he remained confident that Legg would later be determined to be competent to stand trial. However, only Judge Kimbler has the authority to make that decision.
“The language of the statute is the question of restoration of competence. Even though the report is subject to further review, is it is one piece of evidence that the court has in order to make the competency evaluation as to whether or not he can stand trial,” Thompson said.
This won’t be Legg’s only competency evaluation.
The judge presiding over Legg’s murder trial in Mahoning County also ordered that he undergo an evaluation, which has not yet been completed. The results of that evaluation can and likely will be used in the Medina County rape case proceedings, Thompson said.
“Each one of the competency evaluations, even though they may be done in a different court, it’s another piece of the information puzzle that the court can consider,” Thompson said.