Officer makes not guilty plea
BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. (AP) — A former Mississippi police officer charged in the death of her daughter in a hot patrol car has pleaded not guilty.
The Sun Herald reports Cassie Barker, 28, was arraigned Monday on a charge of second-degree murder in the 3-year-old girl’s death.
The former Long Beach officer is accused of leaving Cheyenne Hyer unattended in a patrol car for more than four hours while she was in another officer’s home. The car’s air conditioner was on but wasn’t blowing cold air. Hyer was found unresponsive in the car and died Sept. 30, 2016.
Barker was fired days later and initially charged with manslaughter.
Circuit Judge Larry Bourgeois set a trial date for April 2, 2018. Barker remains free on a $50,000 bond.
Barker had previously left the girl in an unattended car in 2015, in Gulfport, which was reported by a passer-by. Officials with the state Department of Human Services took temporary custody of the child and Barker was suspended from the Long Beach force for a week without pay. Her daughter’s father, Ryan Hyer, has said he plans to sue the Long Beach Police Department and Mississippi Child Protection Services, as he says he was never notified of that first incident.