Cuyahoga County

Meet the Major Trial Team

Learn more about
the Major Trial Unit


Saleh S. Awadallah, Major Trial Unit Supervisor

Saleh Awadallah has been an attorney since 1994, and an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney since 1998. Saleh currently oversees the Major Trial Unit, where he is responsible for the intake, charging, supervision, and assignment of all homicide, including capital murder cases and felony sexual assault and child abuse cases in Cuyahoga County. Saleh supervises twenty prosecutors and two support staff. From 2006-2011, Saleh helped supervise the General Felony Unit and helped conduct a substantial office reorganization, when the regional community prosecution system was implemented. From 2009-2011, Saleh was the Fifth Region Supervisor and served as office training coordinator.

Saleh edited, produced, and published the Trial Prosecutor’s Handbook, a comprehensive compilation of articles, many he wrote, on various technical, legal, and evidentiary issues. Saleh also produced numerous in-house continuing legal education seminars.

Saleh has lectured and presented for the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office (Felony DUI- 2008); (Speedy Trial 2009); (Brady Obligations and Crim.R.16-2010); and (Evidence Rules and Direct Examination 2011); the National Institute of Trial Advocacy (Jury Selection 2008); the Ohio Attorney General’s Office (Penalty Phase-Capital Litigation 2010); and the Medical Examiner’s Office (Art of Testifying 2012). He has also been a guest speaker at John Carroll University and for the Cleveland Police Department.

Saleh has first chaired numerous jury trials, including child sexual and physical abuse cases, rape cases, and aggravated murder cases. Saleh first chaired three capital murder cases, securing guilty verdicts and death sentences in all three. Saleh has argued before the Eighth District Court of Appeals and the Ohio Supreme Court.

Saleh received his undergraduate degree, summa cum laude, from Baldwin-Wallace College and his Juris Doctorate from Case Western Reserve Law School, where he served as Editor in Chief of the Canada-US Law Journal. In 2011, Saleh was awarded the Prosecutor of the Year Award.


 

Diane Russell, Deputy Major Trial Supervisor

Diane Russell has served as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney since 2003. During those years of service, she has worked in the several units where she picked up valuable experience. Russell is currently assigned as Deputy Major Trial Supervisor. She was previously assigned as Supervisor of Region 3 and Floors 18 and 19 in the General Felony Unit.  Prior to her current position she has also been a part of the Juvenile, where she assisted the Supervisor in managing and training APA’s, Grand Jury, where the importance of properly charging cases based on the facts that can be proven in trial, and the Expedited Case Management Unit, where she worked closely with law enforcement to help guide investigations and make decision regarding the investigation.  She recently worked on the RNC team in a collaborative effort with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to develop protocol and regulations for the safety and betterment of the City of Cleveland. As a seasoned litigator she has been given first chair assignments to Major Trial cases, as well as sat second chair for several cases. Diane received her J.D. from Case Western Reserve University, and her B.S. in Social Science from Cleveland State University.  


Mahmoud Awadallah, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Mahmoud Awadallah joined the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office after receiving his J.D. from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. He also has earned his B.A. in Political Science and International studies from Baldwin-Wallace University. He is responsible for prosecuting adult homicide and rape cases before the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court and the Eighth District Court of Appeals, litigating numerous cases before the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas and the Eighth District Court of Appeals.


Debora L. Brewer, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney

Debora joined the Prosecutor’s Office in 2015 as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney assigned to the Child Victim section of the Major Trial Unit. Prior to joining the Cuyahoga County Prosecutors Office, Debora worked as a Prosecutor for over nine years in the Chicago area at the DuPage County State’s Attorney Office. Debora has prosecuted hundreds of cases to verdict including matters of rape, robbery, domestic violence and sexual abuse. Debora is a native of the Cleveland area and received her undergraduate degree from Miami University. She attended law school at Loyola University of Chicago where she obtained her J.D. with a concentration on Child and Family law matters. Debora clerked for the American Bar Association and the Chicago Board of Education during law school, and was an assistant editor of the Loyola Child Law Journal. Debora has spent a majority of her legal career in government service and is dedicated to providing quality service to the residents of Cuyahoga County. Prior to attending law school, Debora taught junior high school at Immaculate Heart of Mary School in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.


Daniel Cleary, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney

Daniel Cleary received his J.D. from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. He also earned degrees in Criminal Justice and Political Science from Loyola University Chicago. In 2000, he joined the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office as a Law Clerk for the Economic Crimes Unit. After graduating from law school in 2002, he was hired as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for the Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family Services. He has also served as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in the Juvenile Justice Unit and the General Felony Unit. In 2010, he was promoted to his current assignment in the Major Trial Unit, General Division. He is responsible for the prosecution of homicide, vehicular homicide and sexual assault cases. Mr. Cleary has litigated capital murder, murder, rape and hundreds of felony cases before the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas. He also argues all of his convictions before the Eighth District Court of Appeals.


John Colan, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney

John Patrick Colan is an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office Major Trial Unit. He was also responsible for prosecuting all types of crimes in the General Felony beginning in 2008. Prior to joining the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, John worked to protect consumer’s rights pursuant to the Lemon Law and the Magnuson-Moss Federal Trade Commission Act. He received his J.D. from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and a Bachelor of the Arts Degree from John Carroll University. Prior to receiving his J.D., John was involved in a number of highly successfully internet based companies. John grew up in the Cleveland area and attended Saint Ignatius High School in Cleveland.


Ronni Ducoff, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Ronni Ducoff is proud of her over twenty-five years of public service with the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office. A former speech pathologist, Ms. Ducoff received her Bachelors of Science degree from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts and then her Master of Arts Degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1979. After obtaining her J.D. from the University of Detroit, she relocated to Cleveland, Ohio. In 1990, Ms. Ducoff was hired by the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office. In 1995, she was promoted to the Child Victim Section of the Major Trial Unit, a position she maintains to date. A prosecutor dedicated to advocating for children, she was honored in 2007 with the Hearts of Hope Award from Beech Brook, recognizing her superior contributions to children.


Anna Faraglia, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney

Since joining the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office in October of 1997, Anna Faraglia has handled many of its most sensitive and important cases. She helped investigate allegations of sexual abuse against Catholic priests, led the successful murder prosecution of fugitive Dr. Yazeed Essa and was part of the team preparing the state’s case against Ariel Castro. She has been the office’s go-to prosecutor on cases involving women or children as victims of violence and abuse. In 2012, she was asked to come to Summit County as a special prosecutor and won a guilty verdict against Denny Ross in the 1999 murder of a 19-year-old woman. On November 22, 2013, she won an aggravated murder conviction against defendant Camilla Terry in the death of Terry’s three-year-old son. She was also instrumental in the prosecution of notorious kidnapper and serial rapist Ariel Castro. APA Faraglia has also first chaired several major case jury trials, including child sexual and physical abuse cases, rape cases, and aggravated murder cases.

Faraglia also serves on the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Child Fatality Board, a panel of law enforcement, social work and medical experts that meets monthly to review the deaths of children and discuss ways they could have been prevented. In 2012, she was named Cuyahoga County’s Prosecutor of the Year. In 2013, she was named Ohio State Prosecutor of the Year, by the Ohio Prosecuting Attorney’s Association.

Faraglia graduated from Villa Maria Academy and earned a political science degree from Gannon University. She earned her Juris Doctor degree at Cleveland State University’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.


Aqueelah Jordan, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney

Aqueelah Jordan is proud of her public service in Cuyahoga County. She joined the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in 2013. Aqueelah has spent her career in government service, and is dedicated to providing quality service to the residents of Cuyahoga County. Her background includes extensive experience in problem solving and public administration. Aqueelah previously worked in the Cleveland Municipal Court and the City of Cleveland Prosecutor’s Office. She graduated from Case Western Reserve University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in Political Science and History. She also earned her J.D. from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.


Maggie Kane, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney

Maggie is proud of her more than a decade of public service in Cuyahoga County. She received her undergraduate degree at Bowling Green State University and attended law school at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University. Maggie joined the office in 2006, as a law clerk working primarily in the Appellate Unit. Upon passing the bar exam in 2007, Maggie began her work as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney. She joined the Major Trial Unit in 2013, and is currently assigned to the Child Victim Unit. Maggie has spent her career in government service, and is dedicated to providing quality service to the residents of Cuyahoga County.

 

Kristin M. Karkutt, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney

Kristin M. Karkutt joined the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office in 2005. She has been assigned to the Children and Family Services Unit, Juvenile Justice Unit, and the General Felony Unit. In December of 2011, she was appointed to the Major Trial Unit, where she currently handles rape, homicide and child victim cases. Kristin received her J.D. from Cleveland State University in 2004. She received a Master’s of Science degree in Criminology from Roger Williams University in 2001. She graduated from the University of Delaware in 1998, receiving a B.A. in Criminal Justice.


Brian Kraft, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Brian Kraft joined the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office in 2006. Mr. Kraft received his J.D. from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 2004. He earned his B.A. from the University of Montana in 2001.

Brian Radigan, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Brian Radigan joined the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office after receiving his J.D. from The Cleveland Marshall College of Law. He earned his B.S. in History and Political Science from Heidelberg University and studied Criminal Justice at American University. He joined the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office as an Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor in 2006 and was promoted to the Major Trial Unit in August of 2010. As a member of the Major Trial Unit, Brian is responsible for prosecuting homicides and crimes of sexual violence.

In addition to his work in Cuyahoga County, Brian has twice been named a Special Prosecutor outside of the County. In 2009, Brian acting as a special prosecutor for Lorain County, obtained a guilty plea to theft in office from the County’s Chief Deputy Recorder. Additionally, in 2011 and 2012, Brian along with Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutors Anna Faraglia and Matthew Meyer were special prosecutors for Summit County, prosecuting defendant Denny Ross for the 1999 murder of Hannah Hill. A jury convicted Ross on October 5, 2012, after a nine-week trial.

In 2013, Brian was recognized statewide for his exemplary work when he received the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association’s Meritorious Service Award. He was also recently awarded the 2013 Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office Eagle Award for extraordinary investigative achievement in the case of State of Ohio vs. Elias Acevedo, a serial murderer and rapist sentenced to 42 life sentences and 445 years.


Fallon Radigan, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Fallon Radigan joined the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office after receiving a J.D. from the University of Dayton School of Law. She also has earned a B.S.B.A. in Business Administration from West Virginia University. She is responsible for litigating felony cases before the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, and the Eighth District Court of Appeals.

 

Andrew Rogalski, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Andrew Rogalski joined the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office in January of 2009, after receiving his J.D. from Case Western Reserve University School of Law and passing the Ohio bar in 2008. Prior to law school, Andrew graduated, with honors, from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in 2004, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Political Science. Andrew graduated as a Valedictorian of his class at Aurora High School in 2000. Since joining the office of the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor, Andrew has progressed from the Child Support Establishment Unit, to the Juvenile Justice Unit, to the General Felony Unit, and now works in the Major Trial Unit.

Andrew Santoli, Jr. Assistant Prosecuting Attorney

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Andrew Santoli joined the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office after receiving his Juris Doctor, Cum Laude, from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. Mr. Santoli also earned his Master of Business Administration from Cleveland State University and his Bachelor of Arts in History from Ohio University. Mr. Santoli joined the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office in April 2007, and has been assigned to the Major Trial Unit since January 2012. As a member of the Major Trial Unit, Mr. Santoli is responsible for prosecuting the county’s most serious cases regarding the crimes of Homicide and Sexual Assault. Mr. Santoli also argues before the Eighth District Court of Appeals. Prior to obtaining his Juris Doctor, Mr. Santoli served as a legal extern for Judge Kathleen M. O’Malley at the United States District Court-Northern District of Ohio.


Jeffrey Schnatter, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Jeffrey Schnatter joined the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office in 2005, after receiving his Juris Doctorate from the University of Akron School of Law. He is assigned to the Child Victim Section of the Major Trial Unit. As a member of the Child Victim Section, he handles cases involving sexual assaults of minor victims as well as other serious crimes, including homicides and sexual assault cases involving adult victims, from the trial court level through the appeals process. Prior to receiving his Juris Doctorate, Mr. Schnatter graduated from the State University of New York at Fredonia with a B.S. in Marketing. After graduating, he enjoyed an eighteen year career in retail where he held numerous management positions, including Store Director for K-mart Super Center.


Steven Szelagiewicz, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Steven Szelagiewicz joined the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office in June of 2007. He received his J.D. from Ohio Northern University and was admitted to the Ohio Bar on November 13, 2001. He also has earned his B.S. in Political Science from Capital University and an L.L.M. in Taxation from Georgetown University. He is responsible for prosecuting felony cases before the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court and the Eighth District Court of Appeals, and has litigated numerous cases before those courts. Prior to coming to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, he worked as an Assistant Prosecutor at the Brown County Prosecutor’s Office as wall an Assistant Public Defender at the Clinton County Public Defender’s Office.


Blaise D. Thomas, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney

Blaise is a trial prosecutor with over 25 years of experience. He was promoted to the Major Trial Unit in 2001. His primary caseload is composed of homicide, death penalty, and forcible rape cases, with mentoring responsibilities for second chair assistants. He graduated from Ohio University with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and a Juris Doctorate from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.


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