Former Long Beach police officer sentenced
Twenty years: this is the sentence handed down by a judge in Hancock County today nearly three years after the death of a South Mississippi toddler left in her mother’s patrol car in extreme heat.
“Always happy, always jumping, always bouncing, just the typical child. She loved life, loved animals. I don’t think there was a mean bone in her body.” Memories and photos and the supportive hands of family and friends, these are what Ryan Hyer clings to these past two and a half years since losing his three-year-old daughter Cheyenne.
On Monday, Judge Larry Bourgeois sentenced Cheyenne’s mother, Cassie Barker, to 20 years in prison for manslaughter. “I’m happy that justice is served. Twenty years is the max they could give her for what she did and that is what she got. Personally, I could have gone for life, but that is just me. I am just glad it is over with and justice has been served to the best of our ability.”
There wasn’t a dry eye in the courtroom as the former Long Beach police officer faced the consequences of leaving her daughter in a hot patrol car back in the fall of 2016, a move that led to the death of the angel-faced three-year-old girl and a hole in the hearts of all those who loved her. “Watch your kids, always keep an eye out. Double check. Check three times and hold them close, you never know what is going to happen.”
Hyer was living in another state when the tragedy occurred. He told the court he trusted Cassie to take care of their daughter because she was a police officer and her job was to serve and protect. Now, Hyer says he is heartbroken that he will never see his child graduate high school or get married, what he wouldn’t give to share just one more moment with his little girl. “I would just like to see her. I just want to see my daughter one more time.”