An Ohio babysitter has been sentenced to 15 years in prison after a baby in her watch overdosed on antihistamine.
According to the Columbus Dispatch, babysitter Lori A. Conley admitted to giving 8-month-old Haddix Mulkey the medication Benadryl as an attempt to calm the fussy baby. The baby stopped breathing and died on May 13, 2016.
Conley was sentenced to 11 years for involuntary manslaughter, three years for child endangering and one year for tampering with evidence.
“What happened that day was out of character for me,” Conley told the Franklin County judge on Tuesday.
The 45-year-old babysitter was watching eight children in her home at the time of the incident. “Clearly, eight children was more than you could handle,” the judge said. She was an unlicensed childcare provider.
Initially, Conley told authorities that she didn't know what caused the child's death but she admitted to a friend that she gave the baby two or three tablets of medication. She even asked her friend to Google what drugs show up in a toxicology report. It was that toxicology report from the hospital that showed the lethal dose of Benadryl and led to her arrest.
“I think everyone would be in agreement that (Conley) did not have a purposeful intention, that she didn’t wake up that day and set out to kill a child,” Assistant Prosecutor Michael Hughes said. “However, this was not an accident. She purposely and knowingly administered an adult dosage to this young child.”
As ABC News shares, Benadryl is not meant for young children. Per its dosing guide, children under the age of 6 should not use the adult version of the drug. The children's version should not be given to children under the age of 2.
Mulkey's mother spoke out in court about her heartbreak. “You can’t charge her for a broken heart, but you should,” she told the judge. “Lori killed my son and I’m the one being punished.”
The mother believes that the babysitter drugged other children, including her older daughter.
[Photo: Reynoldsburg Division of Police, Family photo]