Judge Denies Motion to Sever Murder Charges in Jefferson County Cold Case


In a motion hearing Wednesday, a Jefferson County judge denied to sever the charges against Stanley Rusnak, the Cleveland man charged with three cold case murders dating back to the 1970’s.

Rusnak’s attorney filed a motion in Jefferson County to sever the 1975 charges from the 1977 charge, however Judge Joseph Bruzzese denied that motion.

(Related story:Man Indicted for 1970s Cold Case Murders in Jefferson County)

Rusnak is believed to have murdered his uncle, James Kelsie Noble, 75, and Noble’s sister-in-law and caretaker, Sophie Groch Bell, 52, during a home invasion at Noble’s residence on County Road 11 in Piney Fork, Ohio, on April 1, 1975. Noble was suffering from terminal cancer at the time of his death. 

He is also believed to have murdered Robert Scott, 78, sometime between July 1, 1977 and July 19, 1977. Scott’s body has never been found, however authorities at the time did find evidence of a home invasion and homicide at Scott’s residence in Rayland.

(Related story: Trial of Man Accused in Cold Case Killings Continued)

Rusnak pleaded not guilty to both crimes on Aug. 13, 2014. 

A trial date is set for Jan. 20, 2015. 

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