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Man who tried to get baby daughter to sleep with Benadryl, killing her, gets 15 years in prison

Darius Lara had faced two second degree murder charges in his daughter's 2015 death, according to jail records.

CARROLL COUNTY, Ga. — On a December night more than four years ago, eight-month-old Natalia Esmeralda Jane Ro Lara wouldn't stop crying and couldn't get to sleep.

Her father, Darius Lara, will spend 15 years in prison for what he did to try to calm her down, the Carroll County Sheriff's Office announced on Monday.

The sheriff's office said originally investigators and the coroner "had suspicions relating to the baby" after it died of cardiac arrest at Tanner Medical Center in December 2015.

It wasn't until 2017, though, that the GBI Crime Lab revealed the infant had been given a lethal dose of Diphenhydramine, described by the sheriff's office as the sleeping agent found in Benadryl.

According to authorities, it was then that the father admitted giving his daughter sleeping aids meant for his girlfriend.

"On the night of her death he opened a capsule of liquid Benadryl and poured it into her mouth to end her crying," the sheriff's office said in a release.

His case ended in a plea last week that will see Lara, now 25, serve 15 years in prison, the sheriff's office said.

"I know this case has been a work in progress for some years, it has been a tedious job, and it has required a lot of hours from our dedicated Investigators partnering with the Carroll County District Attorney’s Office to ensure that sweet Baby Natalia would not be forgotten," Carroll County Sheriff Terry Langley said in a statement. " I am proud of Sergeant Stephen Stollar and Assistant District Attorney Jephson Bendinger for following their instincts to be able to obtain a solid conviction and provide closure to all those who were affected by her passing."

"The prison sentence received will never bring Baby Natalia back," the sheriff added, "but it will serve as justice to a very sad and tragic case of a little girl who will never get to grow up."

The sheriff's office did not specific charge Lara pleaded for. According to Carroll County Jail records, he had faced two counts of second degree murder.

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