Mom faces 20 years in prison after baby’s Benadryl death

Posted at 11:42 AM, Mar 05, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-06 07:07:13-05

LOUISA COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) - A mother has pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and felony child neglect in the March 2013 death of her six-month-old son, Louisa Commonwealth’s Attorney Rusty McGuire said.

Tristan T. Goodwin, 32, could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison during her sentencing hearing in May.

Tyler died in March 2013 from a lethal dose of Benadryl

Tyler died in March 2013 from a lethal dose of Benadryl

Goodwin was arrested in December 2013 last year when an autopsy revealed her son Tyler died after he was given a lethal dose of Benadryl. Tyler's March death was initially ruled a SIDS related death.

"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," McGuire wrote in an email. "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."

Benadryl boxes inspected by investigators all said not to give the drug to babies, McGuire said.

Brian Firth

Brian Firth, baby Tyler's father

“I don’t think she meant to do it,” Brian Firth, the infant’s father, told CBS 6 reporter Shelby Brown after the arrest. “I know Tristan better than anyone else in this world including her own family.”

Firth said Tyler was teething and had a runny nose when Goodwin gave him the medication.

“She said she gave Benadryl to her other babies and I told her she’s damn lucky it didn’t kill the other kids,” Firth said.