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Records: Possible serial killer on probation during '97 rape case

Posted: 6:31 PM, Feb 15, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-10 15:45:23-04
Samuel Legg III.jpg

MEDINA, Ohio — The man recently indicted in connection with a 1992 homicide in Mahoning County and a 1997 rape in Medina County was on probation for receiving stolen property at the time of the 1997 assault, according to court records. Samuel Legg III, 49, a former truck driver, has also been linked to three other unsolved homicides, including a killing in Illinois, prosecutors said.

RELATED: Man accused of 1997 Medina rape has now been charged with 1992 Austintown murder

Just hours after being arraigned in Medina County on two counts of rape, Legg was indicted by a Mahoning County grand jury on murder charges in connection with the 1992 slaying of Sharon Kedzierski. Earlier in the week, prosecutors in Medina County and representatives of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office announced Legg’s DNA was linked to the 1997 rape of a 17-year-old woman in Medina County as well as at least four homicides, including the killing of Kedzierski.

It remains unclear where and when the other three homicides occurred. However, News 5 has confirmed that one of those homicides happened in Illinois.

RELATED: Samuel Legg's DNA linked to 4 homicides, and authorities say it's possible there are more

Court records suggest that Legg was in and out of jail and the criminal justice system at the time of Kedzierski’s killing and the 1997 rape in Media County.

Legg’s criminal history dates back to at least 1989 when a Lorain County grand jury indicted the then 20-year-old on one count of theft. Then, in 1990, Legg was interviewed as part of an investigation into the suspicious death of his 14-year-old stepdaughter, Angela Hicks. The girl’s partially nude and badly decomposed body was found in a wooded area in Elyria in September 1990. According to newspaper reports at the time, Legg was one of the last people to see Hicks alive prior to her death.

Legg was never charged in connection with Hicks’ death. It is unclear if her death is one of the cases that Legg’s DNA was linked to. Hicks’ childhood best friend, Nicole Myers, has long suspected that Legg had something to do with the teenager’s death.

“It’s a long time to go without answers. Everyone knows who did it,” Myers said. “[Legg] has seen me. He looked me in the eyes and then he looked in the ground. He knows. He knows I know. He has to know. It’s going to come out.”

In the months following his step-daughter’s death, Legg became an independent truck driver, a position he held for nearly a decade, officials said. Legg’s interaction with the courts system went largely quiet.

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Samuel Legg appears in Medina County Court of Common Pleas

Then, in April 1992, Legg allegedly beat, choked and murdered Kedzierski before dumping her body near a truck stop in Austintown, according to a grand jury indictment handed up on Thursday. Kedzierski’s body, however, wasn’t positively identified until 2013.

Just two months after Kedzierski’s death – but still in the heat of the investigation into her death – Legg was indicted in Lorain County again on one count of receiving stolen property, according to court records. He would later be sentenced to probation.

Aside from a divorce in 1994, Legg appears to have largely stayed out of court. That was until 1997 when a Cuyahoga County grand jury indicted Legg on receiving stolen property charges.

As part of that case, Legg was sentenced to one year of probation. However, roughly three months into his probation, Legg allegedly picked up a 17-year-old girl who was hitchhiking from Cleveland to central Ohio. According to the indictment, Legg allegedly raped the girl near a truck stop in southern Medina County. The identity of her attacker, later allegedly determined to be Legg, wasn’t known until recently, prosecutors said. A match to Legg was made through familial DNA, prosecutors said. Right now, it is unclear from whom the familial DNA match came from.

Aside from a traffic ticket and a divorce with his second wife, Legg’s interaction with the courts system again went cold. At some point in the early 2000s, perhaps in 2001, Legg moved to Arizona. In October 2001, Legg was arrested and extradited back to Cuyahoga County for failing to pay child support. Court records state he received six months of probation.

Based on the court records that News 5 has been able to uncover, Legg stayed quiet for more than a decade. Court records only show divorces with his third and fourth wives. In January 2015, Legg was arrested on three counts of failure to appear and one count of third degree trespassing in Tucson Municipal Court, according to court records. He received probation.

From at least 2016 through 2019, Legg was residing at a group home for mentally ill individuals in Chandler, Arizona, which is a suburb of Phoenix, according to police records.

Chandler police reports in 2016, 2017 and 2018 document a history of Legg’s apparent mental illness. Legg walked away from the group home or group home-related activities on multiple occasions.

“Samuel is on medication for Schizophrenia. He hears voices that tell him he is needed in court in Tucson," a group home employee said. The employee said Samuel has solicited rides from truck drivers previously to get to Tucson and has been found miles from the group home in the past, according to a February 2017 police report. A supplemental report stated that Legg had missed two dosages of his medication used to treat his Schizophrenia. Legg was found a day later.

Multiple police reports mention Legg as having serious mental illnesses.

“Legg has been diagnosed with depression, anxiety, neurosyphilis and delusions,” a report states. “[A group home employee said] Legg’s behavior and cognitive delusions and hallucinations were worsening and he would be transferred to an appropriate facility closer to his doctor in Phoenix.”

Legg is being held in the Medina County jail on a $1 million bond. He is to undergo an evaluation that will determine if he is competent to stand trial.