Daycare owner found guilty of murdering 4-month old

Posted at 3:23 PM, May 22, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-25 09:30:13-04

A McLennan County jury convicted former daycare owner Marian Fraser Friday afternoon of murdering a 4-month old girl by giving her Benadryl.

Prosecution and defense attorneys called eight witnesses to testify in the punishment phase of her trial Friday afternoon, seven for the defense and one prosecution witness.

Most of the witnesses described Fraser has a passionate, loving and caring person that would never hurt anyone. Many of them also said they would still leave their children or grandchildren with Fraser, despite the jury's decision, because they know her and do not believe she would ever intentionally put anyone at risk.

Judge Strother revoked Fraser's bond and sent her to jail. Fraser faces 5 years, to life in prison.

The judge recessed court for the holiday weekend. Court will resume Tuesday morning at 10 a.m., when the jury will decide how long Fraser will be in prison. 

There was hardly a dry eye in the courtroom as testimony wrapped up in a local murder trial late Thursday afternoon for a former Waco daycare owner accused of giving an infant a lethal dose of Benadryl.

Prosecutors ended the day, playing a heart-wrenching video of 4-month-old Clara Felton looking healthy, happy, and giggling uncontrollably the morning before she died back in 2013.

The infant's mother, Lauren Felton, was on the stand sobbing as the short clip played.

Just before that, defendant Marian Fraser testified for over an hour. She denies medicating Clara, telling the jury she lost a baby too that day.

Fraser ran Spoiled Rotten Day Care out of her home for nearly 25 years and said the children and their parents were like family to her.

Prosecutors then grilled Fraser, asking about her nickname - Nap Nazi - because she was somehow able to get 12 children to sleep at the same time every day.

Fraser couldn't answer most questions about over-the-counter sleep medicine found in her house, saying she didn't remember how it got there.

And finally, when prosecutors asked her if she would send her own daughter to a daycare where one child died and over a dozen others ultimately tested positive for Benadryl, Fraser said no.

Attorneys will give their closing arguments before the case heads to the jury first thing Friday morning.