CUYAHOGA COUNTY, OH – In the weeks following an imposed mandate by the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court that voted to force all courthouse employees to be fully vaccinated by mid-October, three Cleveland-area judges – two from the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court – have died in a nine-day span under curios circumstances.



In August, judges from the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court voted to require that all employees be fully vaccinated by October 15th.


Judge Sheehan, who presides over the General Division, said at the time of the passage of the vaccine mandate that they’re “public servants” and thus should “protect our employees and the community” by being vaccinated:

“We are public servants.  When people come to the Justice Center, many of them do so because they are required to appear in our buildings.  Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have followed CDC guidance and guidance from the state and county Boards of Health.  On this issue, it is no different.  We can protect our employees and the community we serve by being vaccinated.”

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Strangely, three judges from the Cleveland area, two from the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, have passed away under some bizarre circumstances between late September and early October – a period in time not terribly far from the vaccination deadline.


On September 28th, 62-year-old Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Nancy McDonnell passed away. Local reports indicate that Judge McDonnell died via complications stemming from a double lung transplant she underwent back in 2009.

Apparently, there is some merit to the aforementioned cause of death, as Judge McDonnell was 12-years into her post-transplant, and NHS data shows that roughly half of lung transplant recipients live up to five years after their surgery – with the survival rate declining every year after that.

Come October 2nd, 59-year-old Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Joseph Russo passes away, with local reports noting that he “died unexpectedly.” Judge Brendan Sheehan confirmed Judge Russo’s passing but didn’t know if Judge Russo was suffering from any sort of illness.


Then on October 7th, 8th District Court of Appeals Judge Larry Jones also “died unexpectedly” – with officials not listing the late judge’s cause of death. That makes three sitting judges in Cuyahoga County die in nine days – two of which have passed via unclear circumstances.