A Summit County jury has found a 21 year-old Akron woman guilty of the meth-related death of her toddler son.
The jury found Heather Lerch guilty of murder, involuntary manslaughter, and child endangering.
Prosecutors say after Lerch and her 17 month-old son Patrick moved into the home of her boyfriend, 19 year-old Randy Legg, Patrick was kept in the basement near an active meth lab and rats.
Legg faces an October trial on involuntary manslaughter, child endangering and other charges. His 22 year-old brother Ronald has a September trial on murder and other charges.
Lerch will be sentenced in the courtroom of Judge Thomas Parker on September 25.
SUMMIT COUNTY PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE - news release
Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh announced today that a jury found Heather Lerch, 21, of St. Leger Avenue in Akron, guilty of Murder, Involuntary Manslaughter and Child Endangering for the February death of her 17-month-old son Patrick.
Patrick died February 26 after ingesting large amounts of methamphetamine. Lerch and her son moved into the home of her boyfriend, Randy Legg, on St. Leger Avenue just days before Patrick died. Patrick was kept in the home’s rat-infested basement in the care of two other men, who were cooking and high on meth throughout Patrick’s last days.
“This was a horrific crime, and I thank the jury for finding Heather Lerch guilty of killing her son,” said Prosecutor Walsh. “Patrick’s death is, unfortunately, a very sad example of how drugs – especially meth – ruin lives.”
Randy Legg, 19, is scheduled to go to trial October 4. He is charged with Involuntary Manslaughter, Child Endangering and several drug charges. His brother, Ronald Legg, 22, is scheduled to go to trial September 24 on charges of Murder, Involuntary Manslaughter, Child Endangering and several drug charges. A third man, Allen Kostra, 25, pleaded guilty to Involuntary Manslaughter, Child Endangering and Illegal Manufacture of Drugs. He testified for the State again Heather Lerch.
Judge Thomas Parker will sentence Lerch at 9:00 a.m. on September 25.