Mother sentenced in death of her son
A Louisa County mother will spend the next three years in prison for the Benadryl overdose death of her 6-month-old son.
Tristan T. Goodwin, 32, was sentenced Monday to 20 years in prison with all but three years suspended in Louisa Circuit Court for her guilty pleas to involuntary manslaughter and felony child neglect.
She pleaded guilty without a plea agreement to those charges in March.
She was also sentenced to serve an additional year in prison for violating probation, court records show.
The charges stem from a fatal overdose from the over-the-counter allergy medication that killed Tyler Firth.
Last March 19, deputies and emergency medical personnel responded to the 1500 block of Roundabout Road in Louisa for a call about an infant not breathing, police said.
Attempts to revive the child were unsuccessful, and he was pronounced dead on arrival at the University of Virginia Hospital in Charlottesville.
Police said the original cause of death was thought to have been Sudden Infant Death syndrome, but lab results returned several months later indicated a lethal dose of Benadryl, and high levels of Tylenol present in the baby’s body. Benadryl is typically used by adults suffering from allergies.
Goodwin was indicted in November after a review of the test results, and was arrested on Dec. 4 after a month-long search.
Initially, Goodwin told deputies that a doctor said it was all right to give Benadryl to the baby, but she later acknowledged that a friend—not a doctor—told her it was OK.
Louisa Commonwealth’s Attorney Rusty McGuire said all of the boxes of Benadryl seized by deputies from Goodwin specifically said not to administer it to babies.
He also said there were allegations that the baby cried a lot and that Goodwin hid the Benadryl from the father.
Portsia Smith: 540/374-5419