4 charged in toddler meth lab death appear in Akron court

Murder and manslaughter charges today

AKRON, Ohio - Arraignments for four Akron residents took place Friday in Summit County Court of Common Pleas. Heather Lerch, 20 and Ronald Legg, 22,were charged with murder and felony child endangering. Randy Legg, 19, and Allen Kostra, 24, were charged with manslaughter.

All four defendants had their own legal representatives. Judge Parker is scheduled to hear pre-trial arguments on April 10.

Bond was continued at one million dollars for each defendant. Unusual in this arraignment was the fact that all defendants appeared together for the video arraignment at the same time.

Appearing in striped jail clothing the four defendants crowded together on the television screen in Magistrate Shoemakers courtroom. This is a case that shocked the Akron Goodyear Heights community. The Summit County Medical Medical Examiner's Office said that the toddler had ingested methamphetamine during a period of neglect and abuse. The toddler Patrick Lerch was found unresponsive in his crib Feb. 26 and taken to Akron Children's Hospital and pronounced dead at 11:17 p.m. of the same day.

Police said chemicals, bottles and other meth-making materials were found in the basement of the home.

All four suspects had appeared earlier in court on drug charges but much more serious charges of manslaughter and murder were added

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