JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A former Mississippi Gulf Coast police officer is headed to prison for the death of her 3-year-old daughter, who was left in a patrol car while her mom had sex with a police supervisor.
Ex-Long Beach police Officer Cassie Barker was sentenced Monday to 20 years in prison in the 2016 death of Cheyenne Hyer. The 29-year-old pregnant woman pleaded guilty to manslaughter in a plea bargain after being indicted on a charge of second-degree murder.
Cheyenne was strapped in her car seat in the patrol car for four hours while Barker was with her then-supervisor. The car's air was turned on, but it wasn't blowing cold. Cheyenne was unresponsive and had a temperature of 107 degrees when Barker returned.
Ryan Hyer, the child's father, who lives in Jacksonville, read an impact statement on Monday during Baker's sentencing hearing in a Mississippi courtroom. He described to News4Jax on Tuesday how the tragic death of his daughter has impacted him.
"This was very difficult. I've been waiting for two and a half years for this to be over with," Hyer said. "It doesn't bring my daughter back, but I can start moving forward now that justice has been served."
The father is suing Long Beach Police Department, which is the agency Barker worked for, and he's suing the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services for the wrongful death of his child. Hyer said Barker was arrested months before his daughter's death for leaving the young girl in the car while going into a store.
"She was arrested, (the) state took my daughter, and (the) police chief went and got her out of jail. Within 24 hours, she had my daughter back and I was never notified," Hyer said.
Barker is not eligible for parole.