The Valley News has been selected to add two journalists — a photojournalist and a climate and environment reporter — to our newsroom through Report for America, a national service program that boosts local news by harnessing community support.

Please consider donating to this effort.

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

  • This booking photo released Monday, March 18, 2019, by the Vermont State Police shows Stacey L. Vaillancourt, 53, of Rutland, Vt., arrested on charges of manslaughter and cruelty to a child stemming from the January death of a 6-month-old girl at the daycare she ran in her home. (Vermont State Police via AP)

  • Stacey L. Vaillancourt, 53, of Rutland, Vt., is brought in to Rutland criminal court Monday, March 18, 2019, for her arraignment after being charged with manslaughter and cruelty to a child arising from the January death of 6-month-old Harper Rose Briar at the defendant's state-certified in-home day care facility. (Robert Layman/The Rutland Herald via AP, POOL) Robert Layman / Staff Photo

  • Dozens of pink t-shirts were wore by attendants supporting Harper Rose Briar's parents, Marissa Colburn and Blake Briar, not pictured, at Rutland criminal court Monday, March 18, 2019, in Rutland, Vt. Stacey L. Vaillancourt, not pictured, 53, of Rutland was arraigned in Rutland criminal court after being charged with manslaughter and cruelty to a child arising from the January death of 6-month-old Harper Rose Briar at the defendant's state-certified in-home day care facility. (Robert Layman/The Rutland Herald via AP, POOL) Robert Layman / Staff Photo

  • ">

    Harper Rose Briar's parents, Marissa Colburn, center, and Blake Briar, right, are joined by over 30 people wearing pink T-Shirts that read "Justice for Harper Rose" at Rutland criminal court Monday, march 18, 2019, in Rutland, Vt. (Robert Layman/The Rutland Herald via AP, POOL) The Rutland Herald Photos via AP — Robert Layman

Associated Press
Published: 3/18/2019 9:54:22 PM
Modified: 3/18/2019 9:54:25 PM

RUTLAND, Vt. — A former Vermont day care provider was arrested on Monday on suspicion of manslaughter and child cruelty charges in the death of a 6-month-old girl she was caring for in her Rutland home in January.

The arrest of Stacey Vaillancourt, 53, came after the final autopsy report on the body of Harper Briar, who was found unresponsive Jan. 24, determined the girl had high concentrations of diphenhydramine in her body, Vermont State Police said. The drug is the active sedating ingredient in over-the-counter antihistamines, police said. The autopsy report noted that diphenhydramine is not to be used on infants except if a doctor orders it. There was no such order for the infant, Vermont State Police said.

“The state is alleging that the defendant sedated an otherwise beautiful, happy, healthy 6-month-old to the point where that baby could not lift her head and died,” said Rutland County State’s Attorney Rosemary Kennedy. “From the state’s perspective that is about as serious a charge that we see in Vermont.”

Vaillancourt’s lawyer entered not guilty pleas as about 40 relatives and supporters of the baby’s family sat in the courtroom wearing pink “Justice for Harper Rose” T-shirts.

According to a police affidavit, the infant was found unresponsive on the third day that Vaillancourt had been caring for her. Vaillancourt’s son told police that he and his fiance had become sick the night before and could not help her with the children that day, according to the affidavit.

A phone message was left with Vaillancourt’s lawyer after hours seeking comment.

Her lawyer Robert McClallen told the judge she has ties to the community, including family, owns a home with her mother, ran a day care for 25 years, has a different job now and had recently undergone bankruptcy proceedings. The state had sought $50,000 bail and a condition that she not have contact with children under the age of 5. The judge set bail at $25,000 in the form of an unsecured appearance bond and the condition that she not have contact with children under the age of 5, except for her grandchild under the supervision of one of the child’s parents.




Valley News

24 Interchange Drive
West Lebanon, NH 03784
603-298-8711

 

© 2021 Valley News
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy