Mother faces life sentence after Benadryl overdose kills 16-month-old
Elizabeth Long’s testimony alleged that she gave her son a chewable Motrin and a teaspoon of Benadryl in his bottle
A 34-year-old Michigan faces up to life in prison after she was convicted of second-degree murder and second-degree child abuse in the death of her 16-month-old son.
His cause of death? An overdose on Benadryl.
Upon examination of Lukas’ body, the coroner discovered in his body at least ten times the amount of diphenhydramine (popularly known as Benadryl) that a normal dose would produce.
Prosecution estimated Lukas consumed about a quarter of a bottle of Benadryl.
Elizabeth Long’s testimony alleged that she gave her son a chewable Motrin and a teaspoon of Benadryl in his bottle.
Neither the jury nor her family believed a word she said; for some months leading to her son’s death she had been acting strange.
Two weeks before, the police had been called into her home after his eight-year-old son notified the police because his mother had fallen asleep standing up with Lukas on the changing table.
The second time was when Long’s vehicle stalled in the roadway outside her home when she attempted to leave her children to go to a nearby gas station.
According to reports, neither prosecution nor defence maintained that Long intended to kill her son.
However, it was said that she knowingly created a risk of death or serious harm knowing that death could be an outcome—an element required to prove second-degree murder.
“This is not an individual who can say, ‘But I didn’t know what might happen,’” Senior Assistant Prosecutor Mona Armstrong said after the verdict. “There was no one who could have prevented Elizabeth Long from causing her son’s death but Elizabeth Long.”
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