Monday, March 25, 2019 Elyria 32°
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Cops and Courts

Elyria cold case suspect had few brushes with law locally

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ELYRIA — As authorities continue to delve into the past of Samuel Legg III, a look at his legal skirmishes locally reveal only a handful of encounters.

Legg was arraigned on rape charges in Medina County on Thursday in connection with a cold case from 1997. Later in the day, he also was indicted on murder charges in connection with the death of Sharon Lynn Kedzierski, whose body was found in 1992 at a truck stop in Austintown.

Elyria police also have reopened the investigation into the cold case of the death of Legg’s stepdaughter, Angela Hicks, whose body was found in 1990 near Midway Mall. Legg was a prime suspect in 1990, but police were never able to get the evidence they needed to charge him with the crime. He appears to once again be a prime suspect in Angela’s death.

Legg was charged with other crimes in Lorain County in the years before and after Angela’s death, but they were mostly theft-related.

In 1989, he was charged in Common Pleas Court with possession of criminal tools and criminal trespassing, but the case was sent back to Elyria Municipal Court.

In 1992, he was convicted of receiving stolen property for having four Cragar S/S wheels, which are wheel rims for a vehicle, which belonged to George Guignette, according to court records. The rims where valued at $300, court documents said.

Legg pleaded guilty and was sentenced to two years in prison, but the sentenced was suspended. He served three years of probation and was eventually discharged, court records said.

He also was charged with misdemeanor passing bad checks in Elyria Municipal Court.

Other than that, there’s no record of Legg in the county’s court records.

The state’s Attorney General’s office has said DNA testing has linked Legg to other unsolved homicides besides Kedzierski’s.

Medina County prosecutors last month went to Arizona with a plan to collect DNA from Legg and carried with them the details of the years-old rape case. Legg was living in a group home in Chandler, Arizona.

The now nearly 40-year-old victim told authorities she hitchhiked from her then-home in Lexington to visit her boyfriend in Cleveland in 1997. On her return trip to Richland County, she said she accepted a ride from Legg at a gas station at the U.S. Route 224 exchange in Westfield Township on Interstate 71.

Authorities said Legg was an independent truck driver who drove for a company in Hinckley in Medina County.

That’s when the alleged rape occurred, but the victim first pursued charges outside the county.

Lexington police requested a rape kit at a Mansfield hospital and turned it over to the Medina County Sheriff’s Office. But the case — handled by former Prosecutor Dean Holman — wasn’t prosecuted as his staff decided the evidence wasn’t strong enough.

The case grew cold until Medina County Prosecutor S. Forrest Thompson, who took office in 2017, said investigators got a break in December while technicians with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation were looking for matches to DNA from the truck stop slayings.

Because there was no exact match in the bureau’s database, technicians used updated technology to search for a male family member whose DNA profile was similar to the unknown suspect. A match was made and an investigation pointed to Legg as a suspect not only for the truck stop slayings, but the 1997 sexual assault as well.

Contact Scott Mahoney at (440) 329-7146 or smahoney@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Twitter @SMahoneyCT.


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