Ex-day care worker pleads not guilty in death of 6-month-old

RUTLAND, Vt. (AP) — A former day care provider has pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from the death of a 6-month-old girl she was caring for in her Vermont home.

Stacey Vaillancourt entered the plea Monday to charges of manslaughter and cruelty to a child in Rutland. Harper Briar was found unresponsive at the home day care Jan. 24.

Vaillancourt’s arrest came after the final autopsy report determined Briar’s body had high concentrations of diphenhydramine. The drug is the active sedating ingredient in over-the-counter antihistamines.

A phone call seeking comment was made after hours to Vaillancourt’s lawyer.

About 40 relatives and supporters of the baby’s family sat in the courtroom wearing pink “Justice for Harper Rose” T-shirts.

The autopsy report noted that diphenhydramine is not to be used on infants except if a doctor orders it. There was no such order.

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