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Mother Who Gave Three-Month-Old Son Lethal Dose of Benadryl Receives Probation

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A mother who gave her three-month-old son a fatal dose of Benadryl received one year’s probation following 163 days in jail.

The 21-year-old Caitlyn Smith pleaded guilty to charges of third-degree manslaughter during the trial following the death of her son, who passed away in March.

She admitted that she gave her son a six-year-old’s dose of the antihistamine. According to Bill Collins, the Police Chief of Marion County, Smith said that she gave her child the drugs to calm him down.

"After the lethal dose of Benadryl, she laid him down on an ottoman, and then went upstairs to bed," Collins said.

According to investigators, Smith didn’t return to check on her child for seven hours or more. By the time she came downstairs again, her son was dead.

According to a call log from the Marion County Prosecutor's Office. Smith didn’t call 911 for over an hour after finding her son unresponsive.

"After the death of the child, she called her mother before the squad. She texted the father of the child and said "Owens gone" before the squad," Collins added.

Prior to sentencing, Collins spoke with the judge, urging them to give Smith the maximum sentence of three years. After Smith’s attorney heard about this meeting, they filed a motion to change the judge. The new judge took over the case in early December and ordered that Smith be released from jail and put on probation for one year.

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