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Prosecutor of Sam Sheppard and long-time Cuyahoga County judge dies at 86

Spellacy served as the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court administrative judge from 1975 to 1990.
Spellacy served as the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court administrative judge from 1975 to 1990.(Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court)
Updated: May. 29, 2021 at 8:18 PM EDT
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CUYAHOGA COUNTY, Ohio (WOIO) - Leo M. Spellacy, a long-time Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court presiding judge and prosecutor on the famous Sam Sheppard murder case, which received intense media attention in the 1950s, died Friday, according to an obituary.

Spellacy’s son attorney Kevin Spellacy, told cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer Saturday, that his father suffered an “event” that put him in the hospital where he developed sepsis.

The elder Spellacy graduated from Saint Ignatius High School in 1952 before attending Georgetown University and then graduating from Case Western Reserve Law School seven years later, according to the school’s website.

His career began in the city of Cleveland law department and progressed through the county prosecutor’s office, and the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas, where he was presiding judge for 15 years beginning in 1975. Spellacy then served as a judge on the 8th District Ohio Court of Appeals.

Friends may call between 3 and 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 1, at the McGorray-Hanna Funeral Home of Westlake, 25620 Center Ridge Ridge Rd., Westlake, according to an obituary. A funeral mass will take place at 9:30 a.m. June 2 at St. Christopher Church, 20141 Detroit Rd., Rocky River.

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