Daycare owner sentenced to 50 years for killing 4-month-old by giving her Benadryl

Posted at 1:45 PM, May 26, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-27 08:41:52-04

A McLennan County jury has sentenced former daycare owner Marian Fraser to 50 years in prison Tuesday afternoon for murdering 4-month-old Clara Felton by giving her a deadly dose of Benadryl.

Fraser faced 5 years, to life in prison after being found guilty of murdering 4-month-old Clara Felton last week. The jury deliberated for more than two and a half hours Tuesday before coming down with the 50 year sentence.

Fraser will be eligible for parole after 25 years in prison. She was also ordered to pay a $10,000 fine.

Meanwhile, Felton's mother, Lauren, who declined an on-camera interview, said her family is thankful for the jury's verdict.

"We feel that the 50 years was very appropriate, a very just verdict for this case, not only for Clara's death but also for the 14 other children who tested positive for diphenhydramine,[the active ingredient in Benadryl]” said special prosecutor Melinda Westmorland.

In addition, she said the verdict can help the family heal after this tragedy.

"We hope that this verdict brings closure to the family. Of course the only thing that would make the situation better is if we were able to bring Clara back. Because we are not able to do that, we hope that this verdict at least gives this family some type of closure when they can leave this behind them and move forward as much as possible," said Westmorland.

Fraser's attorney, who did not want to comment after the sentencing, told News Channel 25 Fraser plans to appeal the jury's decision immediately.

The prosecutors say they anticipate the appeal because this was a jury trial.