On Monday, Cassie Barker pleaded guilty to manslaughter in a Mississippi court.
The victim: her toddler.
On September 30th, Cassie — who was a Long Beach police officer at the time — left her 3-year-old in her patrol car while she went inside her supervisor’s house to have sex with him.
Post-coitus, she fell asleep. Her daughter, Cheyenne, was strapped into the parked car for four hours. Her body temperature reached 107 degrees. When Cassie returned to the car, she attempted CPR. Cheyenne had no vital signs when paramedics arrived. The child never regained consciousness.
Initially indicted for second degree murder, Cassie pleaded down to manslaughter.
— Ray Price (@RayPriceWLOX) March 18, 2019
Harrison County Circuit Judge Larry Bourgeois told Cassie her she will be serving time for the rest of her life, regardless of her sentence:
“I don’t know what I could ever do to you that could be worse than what you’ve already experienced. You will forever be entombed in a prison of your own mind.”
Following the little girl’s death, both Cassie and her supervisor — Clark Hadner — were immediately fired.
As reported by CBS News, it wasn’t Cassie’s first time:
The mother had left her daughter alone in a car at least once before, at a store in nearby Gulfport in April 2015. Police responded and child welfare officials took temporary custody of the girl at the time. Barker was suspended from the Long Beach police for a week without pay. The girl’s father, Ryan Hyer, said he was never notified of that first incident.
“Every time I close my eyes, I picture her suffering and then I picture her laying in this coffin,” Ryan Hyer said Monday. “I still see her smiling and laughing in my head and I would assume that smile and laughter turned to pain and suffering in that instance.”
Ryan is filing a lawsuit:
The father is suing the Long Beach Police Department and the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services for the wrongful death of his child, saying the child welfare agency should have taken stronger action after the first incident.
“As a parent, you are supposed to protect your child, and Cheyenne is gone because her mother didn’t protect her, not once but twice,” Hyer said.
Prosecutors are recommending Cassie spend 20 years in prison. Sentencing will occur on April 1st.
If that wasn’t enough, 29-year-old Cassie is pregnant with her second child.
“She plans to put the baby up for adoption,” her attorney Damian Holcomb told the Sun Herald in an exclusive interview.
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