Akron brothers plead guilty in connection with meth death of 17-month-old boy

AKRON, Ohio - Two brothers have pleaded guilty to charges in connection with the meth-related death of an Akron toddler.

Ronald Legg, 22, pleaded guilty to child endangerment, murder, illegal manufacturing of drugs and parole violation. He said he pleaded guilty because he wants to take responsibility for the death of 17-month old Patrick Lerch. He faces up to life in prison.

Ronald Legg's brother, Randy Legg, 19, pleaded guilty to illegal manufacturing of drugs and involuntary manslaughter. He faces up to 11 years in prison.

Prosecutors said Patrick Lerch died Feb. 26 after ingesting large amounts of methamphetamine. Patrick and his mother, 21-year-old Heather Lerch, had moved in with her boyfriend, Randy Legg, on St. Leger Avenue days before the child's death.

"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," said the Summit County Prosecutor's Office in a news release.

A jury found Heather Lerch guilty of murder, involuntary manslaughter and child endangering on Aug. 27.

A fourth suspect in the case, Allen Kostra, 25, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, child endangering and illegal manufacture of drugs. He testified against Heather Lerch during her trial.

Ronald Legg and Heather Lerch are scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 25, while Randy Legg will find out his sentence Oct. 23.

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