Vermont Day Care Provider Convicted of Causing Baby’s Death With Doses of Antihistamine

The Associated Press
By The Associated Press
December 3, 2023US News
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Vermont Day Care Provider Convicted of Causing Baby’s Death With Doses of Antihistamine
Stacey Vaillancourt (L) listens as the judge (R) reads a verdict in Rutland, Vt., on Dec. 1, 2023. (WCAX via AP)

RUTLAND, Vt.—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 Ms. 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.

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

Ms. 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.

mugshot of daycare owner
Stacey L. Vaillancourt in a booking photo taken on March 18, 2019. (Vermont State Police)
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