Vermont day care provider convicted of causing infant's death with doses of antihistamine

In this screen grab provided by WCAX, Stacey Vaillancourt , left, listens as the judge, right, reads a verdict on Friday, Dec. 1, 2023 in Rutland, Vt. A jury on Friday convicted Vaillancourt of manslaughter and child cruelty in the 2019 death of Harper Rose Briar in Vaillancourt's home. (WCAX via AP)

RUTLAND, Vt. (AP) — A child care provider accused of sedating an infant with an antihistamine was convicted of manslaughter, and faces up to 25 years in prison when she's sentenced.

A jury on Friday convicted of Stacey Vaillancourt of manslaughter and child cruelty in the 2019 death of Harper Rose Briar in Vaillancourt's home in Rutland.

The 6-month-old was found unresponsive while in Vaillancourt's care, and an autopsy determined she had high concentrations of diphenhydramine, the sedating ingredient in some over-the-counter antihistamines including the brand Benadryl. The drug is not recommended for infants without a doctor's order, and there was no such order for Harper.

Vaillancourt’s defense attorney said there was no evidence to prove Vaillancourt sedated the infant, but the prosecutor told jurors that no one else could have done it.

Vaillancourt, who denied giving the infant anything that wasn't provided by her parents, was released on an unsecured appearance bond. Her attorney didn't immediately return a message seeking comment on Saturday.