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.
Police in Stow asking for help finding a homeowner who's residence on Uniondale Drive turned out to be a meth lab.
There was no legal power to the building -- but there was electricity and cops say the building did have evidence of meth lab production.
An arrest warrant is out for 39-year old Lewis Gene Butler, who was due for a court appearance on another meth arrest.
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(Stow PD) On Tuesday morning, 12/20/11, Stow Police and the City of Stow Building Inspector responded to 2106 Uniondale Drive to investigate a report that the residence may not be safe for habitation. It was suspected the electrical power to the house was being illegally provided and it was known the residence had, in the past, been a location of multiple meth labs.
The premises were found to be uninhabitable due to its condition and the lack of utilities. Power provided from Ohio Edison was, in fact, being illegally obtained. Further, the house and garage were again being used to manufacture meth. The City of Stow boarded up the residence and posted notice for the homeowner, Lewis Gene Butler, Jr., age 39, who was not present. Butler has previously been charged for manufacture of methamphetamine and there are warrants for his arrest. He is due in court before the end of the year for a hearing on a previous arrest for illegal manufacture of meth.
If anyone is aware of Butler’s whereabouts, contact the Stow Police Department @330-689-5700.
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