Ohio mom found guilty of murder in toddler’s death at meth house


21-year-old Heather Lerch (Photo courtesy: WJW)

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AKRON, Ohio — An Ohio woman has been found guilty of murder and other crimes related to the death of her 17-month-old son, who police said died after ingesting large amounts of methamphetamine.

A spokesperson with Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh’s office said 21-year-old Heather Lerch of Akron was found guilty by a jury in the Feb. 26 death of her son Patrick.

Judge Thomas Parker will sentence Lerch at 9 a.m. on Sept. 25.

The toddler died just days after Lerch and her son moved into her 19-year-old boyfriend’s home on St. Leger Avenue.

Randy Legg, Lerch’s boyfriend, is scheduled to stand trial Oct. 4. He is charged with involuntary manslaughter, child endangering and several drug charges.

According to the spokesperson, Patrick was kept in the home’s rat-infested basement in the care of two other men.  The men were high and cooking methamphetamine during the boy’s last days, the spokesperson said. 

“This was a horrific crime, and I thank the jury for finding Heather Lerch guilty of killing her son,” Walsh said. “Patrick’s death is, unfortunately, a very sad example of how drugs – especially meth – ruin lives.”

Randy Legg’s brother, 22-year-old Ronald Legg, is scheduled to stand trial Sept. 2 on charges of murder, involuntary manslaughter, child endangering and several drug charges.

A fourth third individual involved in the child’s death, 25-year-old Allen Kostra, has already plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter, child endangering and the illegal manufacture of drugs.

Kostra testified for prosecutors in Lerch’s case.

The information used in this story is from our news-gathering partners at WJW in Cleveland, Ohio.

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