Mother gets 15 years for baby's death

Methadone found in 6-month-old girl's body

Published On: Aug 27 2013 04:53:31 PM EDT   Updated On: Aug 27 2013 06:40:00 PM EDT
Jennifer Frazier testifies at sentencing
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

A 29-year-old woman who pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter by negligence in the death of her 6-month-old daughter last year was sentenced Tuesday to 15 years in prison.

Jennifer Frazier's daughter Jaycee Patterson died in their Dellwood Avenue home in Murray Hill on June 30, 2012.

Investigators found a lethal dose of methadone and the ingredient in Benadryl in the baby's system. Frazier told police the girl was sick, and she possibly mixed ibuprofen in the same cup she used to mix her prescribed methadone, a highly controlled narcotic pain reliever. But prosecutors said the story didn't check out.

Frazier told detectives she gave her child the medicine about 7:45 p.m. June 29, and about 10 a.m. the next day, she found her baby dead.

Police said the medical examiner found no ibuprofen in the baby's system. Instead, he found a deadly dose of methadone, according to detectives.

Investigators said they don't know Frazier's intent, but regardless, they said the mother was at fault.

Frazier, her boyfriend, who is the baby's father, and Frazier's mother all took the stand in her defense at the sentencing hearing.

Frazier took the stand and said she was sorry, but didn't ever mean to hurt her baby.

"I tried to give her CPR but it was too late. There was nothing I could do," she said. "I'm not sure what happened, but I know it's my fault somehow, because I know I was supposed to protect her and I failed."

The judge said he could not believe her story about possibly reusing a cup with mixing the medication. He said he did not believe she did it on purpose but said that there was definitely negligence.

Prosecutors believe she was giving the child methadone and Benadryl to make her feel better. Frazier never admitted that. But the medical examiner found eight times of methadone and the ingredients of Benadryl in the girl's body.

Prosecutors said they got the sentence they had hoped for, but Frazier's attorney and family were disappointed, hoping she would be given probation. Frazier had no prior criminal history.

Frazier does have other children.