Crime

Ex-police officer whose child died in patrol car can’t have guns

Cassie Barker and her attorneys, George Blair, left, and Donald Rafferty, prepare to walk into Hancock County Justice Court after her arrest on a manslaughter charge last year.
Cassie Barker and her attorneys, George Blair, left, and Donald Rafferty, prepare to walk into Hancock County Justice Court after her arrest on a manslaughter charge last year. amccoy@sunherald.com File

A police officer fired and arrested after her child died in the back of her patrol car is now prohibited from buying or having firearms unless she is acquitted on a manslaughter charge.

Circuit Judge Roger Clark amended the $50,000 bond order of Cassie Barker, a former Long Beach officer, on a motion filed by the District Attorney’s Office.

The amended order was filed in the Hancock County Circuit Clerk’s Office on Monday.

Barker faces a manslaughter charge in the Sept. 30 death of her 3-year-old child, Cheyenne Hyer. Sheriff’s officials have said Cheyenne was found unresponsive in the back of Barker’s patrol car that warm fall day after Barker said she had fallen asleep at the home of her Long Beach Police Department supervisor.

The child reportedly had been left in a car seat in Barker’s patrol car for about five hours. Barker told investigators her car windows were rolled up and she had left the car running with the air-conditioning on, an affidavit said. But the air-conditioner was not blowing cool air, a detective said.

Cassie Barker surrenders to Hancock County Sheriff's Office to face manslaughter charges in the death of her 3-year-old daughter, Cheyenne Hyer.

Cheyenne’s body temperature was 107 degrees when she arrived at a hospital, the affidavit said.

The amended bond order says three firearms were removed from Barker’s home by the Pass Christian Police Department during “a mental health incident” and must be kept by one of her attorneys.

Attorney Donald Rafferty is to maintain control of the firearms unless Barker is acquitted, the order says.

The order identified the firearms as a Glock 9mm pistol and two Mossberg weapons—a 12-gauge shotgun and a .30-06 rifle.

Barker is free on a $50,000 bond, a decision questioned by Sheriff Ricky Adam and Chief Investigator Glenn Grannan. They have said they consider her a flight risk.

Her bond has no provisions that restrict where she can live or travel.

Rafferty said he will not disclose whether she is still living in the area.

“She speaks with me by phone every week,” Rafferty said. “She will appear in court whenever asked.”

Barker and her supervisor, Sgt. Clark Ladner, were placed on leave and then were fired after an internal investigation.

Police Chief Wayne McDowell told the Sun Herald the child’s death was devastating, and said many of his employees were “ticked off” and angry at the two officers.

Chief Wayne McDowell talks about the death of Cheyenne Hyer, 3, and the two officers involved.

Ryan Hyer told the Sun Herald his daughter’s funeral was the hardest thing he has faced. He and Cheyenne’s mother were not married and lived separately.

The manslaughter case was sent to the next grand jury.

Ryan Hyer questions why the mother of their daughter, Cassie Barker, is still free after their daughter, 3, was found unresponsive in her car in September. Barker, a former Long Beach police officer, had been investigated in 2015 by DHS after Gulf

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews

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