BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - A former Long Beach police officer has pleaded guilty to manslaughter after leaving her three-year-old daughter inside her patrol car.
Cassie Hope Barker, 29, pleaded guilty to culpable negligence manslaughter Monday in the First Judicial District court.
Barker’s daughter, Cheyenne Hyer was found dead inside her mother’s police patrol car in Hancock County in 2016.
According to reports, the child was left in the car when Barker went to the home to talk to her supervisor after ending her shift. Officials say she had sex with him and fell asleep inside the residence. Detectives also determined Barker had left the child in a vehicle on at least one prior occasion where she was caught by law enforcement.
Police said Cheyenne was left in the car for hours.
After consulting with Cheyenne’s father Ryan Hyer, the State recommended the maximum sentence of 20 years to serve.
“I don’t know what I could do to you that could be more than what you have already experienced. You will be forever entombed in a prison of your own mind,” said Judge Bourgeois after accepting Barker’s plea.
A sentencing hearing is scheduled for later this spring.
A lawsuit filed by Cheyenne’s father against Long Beach Police Department and Mississippi Child Protective Services is still pending. Ryan Hyer is suing the two agencies for negligence and dereliction of duty.
Hyer’s attorneys, Matthew Mestayer and Dianne Ellis, said Barker left Cheyenne alone in a car before her death and had even been taken into police custody, only to have the case dropped. The suit alleges Long Beach Police and CPS didn’t take sufficient action to ensure it wouldn’t happen again.
“No one should be above the law, especially those tasked with upholding the law," said Hyer’s attorney Mestayer. "Pending civil suit calls into question what if anything was done after the first incident to ensure that it would not happen a second time. Tragically there was a second incident.”