Man charged in 1992 killing still incompetent for trial

YOUNGSTOWN — Samuel Legg III, 50, a former Arizona truck driver charged with aggravated murder and murder in the 1992 death of a Florida woman at a former Austintown truck stop, has been ruled still incompetent to stand trial.

Prosecutors will have one year — until next summer — to get him “restored to competency” so that he can stand trial in the killing, said Dawn Cantalamessa, assistant Mahoning County prosecutor.

Even if he is not, there are still “other avenues” that prosecutors can try to retain jurisdiction over the case, she said.

Legg is accused of killing Sharon Kedzierski, 43, who was found dead in April 1992 behind the truck stop, which was off of state Route 46. She had been badly beaten. A coroner ruled Kedzierski died of blunt-force trauma to the head, face and chest.

In June, Judge John Durkin of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court ruled that Legg was incompetent to stand trial and ordered that he be sent to TwinValley Behavioral Healthcare in Columbus to determine whether he could be restored to competency within one year.

At the time, Dr. Thomas Gazley of the Forensic Psychiatric Center of Northeast Ohio in Austintown and another mental health expert said they were unable to determine whether Legg would be restored to competency within one year.

Twin Valley is used for individuals with mental health issues who are charged with murder because it is a maximum-security facility, Cantalamessa said.

Legg was evaluated again after four months at Twin Valley and deemed still incompetent to stand trial.

But Cantalamessa said the more recent evaluation indicates that mental health experts believe Legg can be restored to competency within a year.

The victim of the killing initially was listed as “Jane Doe” because DNA analysis was not available. She was identified 20 years later using DNA. Her family in Florida reported her missing one month before her body was found.

An Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation analyst started taking a new look at unmatched DNA samples in 2017, including some sent by local investigators, to see where they would lead.

Legg was identified as a possible match. In February, a Mahoning County grand jury indicted Legg in the Kedzierski killing. The statute of limitations has passed to charge Legg with other possible crimes.

Legg was extradited in January from Arizona to Medina County in Ohio to face charges in the sexual assault of a 17-year-old girl.

DNA also links Legg to that case, authorities said.


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