Mother, friends going to prison after toddler dies from eating meth in rat-infested Akron basement

AKRON, Ohio - An Akron mother, her boyfriend's brother and a friend are going to prison after a toddler died from eating meth.

Heather Lerch, Ronald Legg and Allen Kostra were sentenced Tuesday in Summit County Common Pleas Court before Judge Thomas Parker.

Lerch was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 22 years. Jurors convicted her in August on murder, involuntary manslaughter and child endangering charges.

Ronald Legg was sentenced to 27 years to life in prison. He pleaded guilty last week to murder, child endangering and the illegal manufacturing of drugs.

Kostra was sentenced to nine years in prison and pleaded guilty on Aug. 16 to involuntary manslaughter, child endangering and the illegal manufacturing of drugs.

Patrick Lerch, who was 17 months old, died on Feb. 26, after ingesting large amounts of methamphetamine. Heather Lerch had moved into the home of her boyfriend Randy Legg on St. Leger Avenue with Patrick just days before the toddler died.

Police said the toddler was kept in the home's rat-infested basement in the care of Ronald Legg and Kostra, who were cooking and high on meth during the days the young boy was there.

"The monstrous actions of these three individuals are incomprehensible. They sat back and did nothing while an innocent child suffered," said Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh in a news release.

Randy Legg also pleaded guilty and will be sentenced on Oct. 23.

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