Updated: Millsboro Woman Convicted in Daycare Death - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Updated: Millsboro Woman Convicted in Daycare Death

Posted: Updated:
Valorie Handy Valorie Handy

MILLSBORO, Del. - A 12-member jury has found a woman guilty of criminally negligent homicide in the death of a 10-month-old baby boy at her home daycare in Sussex County.

Sentencing for 52-year-old Valorie Handy of Millsboro is expected to occur early next year, possibly as soon as January.

The verdict was delivered after the jury deliberated for two days. Before the verdict was announced, Judge Graves said it was a "difficult and emotional case," and said it was "well-fought by both sides."

Delaware State Police were called to the Handy's Little Disciples home daycare in January 2015 after a worker found the baby unresponsive when trying to wake him from a nap. The baby, Trey Laws, was later pronounced dead at a hospital.

During Handy's trial in Delaware Superior Court, which went on for more than a week, prosecutors alleged Handy gave the 10-month-old boy diphenhydramine, the active ingredient in Benadryl. The medical examiner said the boy's death was homicide by diphenhydramine intoxication. 

The boy's parents told WBOC they were hoping for the most serious charge--first degree murder by abuse or neglect--but were relieved Handy was convicted, despite the lesser charge.

"Justice was served today," said Charles Laws, Trey's father. "We're just moving on from here. It's been a difficult time for the family." 

Handy's attorney Greg Traynor said his client was "heartbroken" and "inconsolable." He said they will appeal the charge, and noted that it was the least severe of the four charges the jury could have convicted Handy with.

"She cannot be retried on murder by abuse in the first degree. She cannot be retried on manslaughter. She cannot be retried by murder in the second degree," Traynor said. "The starting point will be criminally negligent homicide, and we'll vigorously defend that." 

Court records show that Handy was previously charged with assault by abuse or neglect on a child in September 2001. She was found not guilty after a jury trial in 2002.

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