Carol Cardillo pleaded no contest to second-degree manslaughter in the death of 4-month-old Adam Seagull

By Chris Harris
January 26, 2018 12:22 PM

A 54-year-old Connecticut woman will spend the next 30 months in prison for her role in the March 22, 2016, overdose death of 4-month-old Adam Seagull, PEOPLE confirms.

Court officials confirm that Carol Cardillo learned her fate on Thursday after pleading no contest to second-degree manslaughter. Had she gone to trial, she could have been sentenced to 5 years if convicted.

Adam died at an unlicensed daycare that Cardillo operated for more than 10 years out of her Fairfield, Connecticut, home.

The baby’s overdose death was ruled a homicide after toxicology tests show he died from the high levels of Benadryl in his system.

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Officials at the Fairfield County Courthouse confirm to PEOPLE that Judge Robert Devlin discussed the tragedy of Adam’s premature death before revealing Cardillo’s punishment.

“Adam never had a birthday party, never put on a Halloween costume, never got a visit from Santa Claus,” Devlin said.

Cardillo never admitted killing the baby boy, but she told Adam’s parents on Thursday she was sorry for her reckless actions.

Given Adam’s age at the time of his death, investigators have long insisted the overdose could not have been accidental and that the woman charged with his care administered the drug.

Court officials confirm that father Matthew Seagull spoke at Thursday’s sentencing, and told Devlin Cardillo’s actions “sentenced us to a life without Adam.”

Carol Cardillo
Credit: Fairfield Police Dept.

“This evil woman has made a mockery out of our misery and loss,” mother Michelle Seagall said while weeping, according to “I was assured by her he would be cared for and safe. Adam, you made your mommy so proud,” she added.

Cardillo cared for Adam a total of 11 days. Her daycare operation was shuttered after Adam’s death.

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Initially, Cardillo told investigators she did not give the boy Benadryl. She even denied owning the medication, court officials tell PEOPLE.

But pharmacy records showed Cardillo purchased 90 bottles of Benadryl over a three-year period. The last bottle was bought a week before Adam’s death.

Cardillo’s attorney Eugene Riccio countered that the drug was used by his client to remedy a skin condition.

During Thursday’s sentencing hearing, Devlin noted that he did not believe Cardillo meant to kill the baby.

After she is released from prison, Cardillo will serve five years’ probation and is prohibited from ever working with children in any capacity.