Man accused of Lake Twp. murder remains incompetent


A former Ohio man accused a committing a murder in Lake Township more than 25 years ago remains incompetent to stand trial.

Wood County Common Pleas Judge Matt Reger held a Zoom hearing Monday to determine whether Samuel Legg III is competent to face charges of murder and rape.

Legg, 53, will remain in the Twin Valley Behavioral Healthcare, where he is receiving treatment after first being deemed incompetent in 2021.

DNA led to Legg’s August 2020 indictment for the 1996 murder of Victoria Jane Collins.

Legg, who has neurosyphilis and schizophrenia, was extradited to Ohio from Arizona, where he was living in a group home.

A hearing to determine his competence is held annually. He will remain at Twin Valley, located in Columbus. It is a maximum-security facility where he was involuntarily committed in September 2019 after being extradited from Arizona. He is not permitted to leave.

Collins’ nude body was found Dec. 20, 1996, behind the Union 76 Truck Stop in Lake Township. Collins, a dancer from the Cleveland area, was reported missing Dec. 18,1996 by her boyfriend, and was last seen on Dec. 16 or the early morning hours of Dec. 17 of that year.

She was 27 years old.

It was stated at previous hearings that Collins was out with some friends partying in the Cleveland area just days before her death. An argument with the people in the vehicle in which she was riding resulted in her being let out around Interstate 90. That was the last time she was seen alive.

Investigators learned Legg was a truck driver. He admitted he would occasionally pick up women in his truck and have sex with them.

A former senior investigator with the Wood County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office said in August 2021 that when Legg was interviewed in February 2019, “he did finally admit to picking up Victoria Collins.”

He also reportedly admitted to choking three women during that interview and he has been charged with murder in at least two other jurisdictions, in Northeast Ohio and in Illinois.

Legg’s Wood County indictment was for two charges of aggravated murder and one charge of murder, all unclassified felonies, and one charge of rape and one charge of kidnapping, both first-degree felonies.

DNA taken from the Wood County and Illinois cases was logged and matched a 1992 homicide in Mahoning County. DNA taken from a 1997 rape in Medina County matched the three murder cases. Legg was a suspect in that rape.

That DNA was a familial match to Legg’s brother, and a family tree profile was developed. The ages of all the men in that lineage at the time of the offenses was checked and ruled out, except Legg.

Defense attorney Merle Dech Jr. on Monday asked the court to adopt the findings that Legg remains incompetent to stand trial and recommend he remain in the care and custody at Twin Valley.

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