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Louisa Woman Pleads Guilty in Death of 6-Month-Old Child - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Louisa Woman Pleads Guilty in Death of 6-Month-Old Child

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A Louisa County mother will go to jail for the death of her infant.

Tristan Goodwin, 32, was supposed to be arraigned Wednesday on a pair of charges – but instead, she pleaded guilty without a plea agreement in place. Goodwin was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and felony child neglect in the death of her 6-month-old child last March.

Rescue crews originally thought the baby died from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), but a final autopsy report revealed the baby had a lethal dose of Benadryl in his system.

Prosecutors say Goodwin admitted to giving her baby the medicine over the objection of the father. We're also told Goodwin misled detectives by saying a doctor and the medicine box said it was OK to give Benadryl to the baby.

Goodwin is scheduled to be sentenced on May 15. She faces up to 20 years in prison.

Office of Louisa County Commonwealth’s Attorney Press Release

Louisa – Today, Commonwealth’s Attorney Rusty McGuire announced that the Louisa Circuit Court convicted Tristan T. Goodwin, 32, Louisa, of involuntary manslaughter and felony child neglect in the March 19, 2013 death of her 6-month-old child.

Goodwin was scheduled to be arraigned today but came into court and pleaded guilty to all charges without a plea agreement. When officers and emergency personnel responded to Goodwin’s residence on March 19, 2013, they found the dead baby and assumed the death was SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.) However, when they received the final autopsy in November 2013 they learned the baby’s system had 4.8 mg/L of Benadryl.

During Goodwin’s interview with members of the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office she admitted to providing Benadryl to her baby over the objection of the father. She initially misled detectives by stating a doctor and the box said it was okay to give Benadryl to the baby. In a follow up interview, she acknowledged that no doctor told her that but instead she alleged she heard the information from a friend. All of the boxes looked at by the investigation team specifically said do not give Benadryl to babies. There were also allegations that the baby cried a lot and she hid the Benadryl from the father.

Speaking on Goodwin’s conviction McGuire said “this is tragic case and I hope this child’s death sends the message to not give babies or young children Benadryl. Benadryl can cause paradoxical central nervous system stimulation with effects ranging from seizure to death. There are published reports of infants dying with as little as 1.1-1.6 mg/L of Benadryl in their system.”

Tristan Goodwin is scheduled to be sentenced on May 15, 2014 and faces up to 20 years in prison. “This case was thoroughly investigated by the Louisa County Sheriff’s Department and the result is a direct reflection of their effort” said McGuire.

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