Mother found guilty of toddler’s death in meth house

Posted at 7:09 PM, Aug 28, 2012

AKRON, Ohio(FOX 8/ ) — An Akron woman has been found guilty of murder and other crimes related to the death of her 17-month-old son. The boy died after ingesting large amounts of methamphetamine, according to police.

Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh’s office tells Fox 8 News that Heather Lerch, 21, of Akron, was found guilty by a jury for the February 26, 2012 death of her son Patrick.

Judge Thomas Parker will sentence Lerch at 9:00 a.m. on September 25.

The toddler died just days after Lerch moved both she and her son into a home on St. Leger Avenue. The home was the residence of Lerch’s boyfriend, Randy Legg.

Legg, 19, is scheduled to go to trial October 4. He is charged with involuntary manslaughter, child endangering and several drug charges. [BONUS: FACES OF METH WEB GALLERY]

According to prosecutor Walsh’s office, Patrick was kept in the home’s rat-infested basement in the care of two other men, who were cooking and high on methamphetamine throughout the boy’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.”

Legg’s 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 fourth third individual involved in the child’s death, Allen Kostra, 25, has already pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, child endangering and illegal manufacture of drugs.

Kostra testified for prosecutors in Lerch’s case.