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March 19, 2019

POLICE OFFICER PLEADS GUILTY IN CHARGES FROM CHILD’S DEATH IN CAR

BILOXI, Miss. (AP) — A former Mississippi Gulf Coast police officer has told a judge she was having sex with her supervisor while her 3-year-old daughter was dying inside an overheated patrol car.

Cassie Barker pleaded guilty yesterday to manslaughter in a plea bargain. The Sun Herald reports prosecutors recommend the 29-year-old Barker spend 20 years in prison. Harrison County Circuit Judge Larry Bourgeois says he will sentence the ex-Long Beach officer April 1.

Cheyenne Hyer died Sept. 30, 2016, after her mother left her strapped in a car seat for four hours while Barker was having sex with her then-supervisor at his home. The car was running with the air-conditioner turned on, but wasn’t blowing cold air.

The girl was unresponsive when Barker returned. Authorities say Hyer’s body temperature was 107 degrees when found.

POLICE OFFICER SUSPENDED AFTER BEING ACCUSED OF BEING WHITE NATIONALIST

CHESTERFIELD, Va. (AP) — A Virginia police officer has been removed as a school resource officer and suspended from the police department amid allegations that he’s a member of a white nationalist group.

The Chesterfield County Police Department said yesterday that the officer was suspended pending a recommendation for termination from the police chief.

Neither the department nor Katz named the officer.

The department’s Office of Professional Standards is investigating.

Under Virginia law, the department must notify an officer in writing of any charges and the action that may be taken. The officer has at least five days to respond.

TEXAS PETROCHEMICAL FIRE

DEER PARK, Texas (AP) — Authorities and the company whose Houston-area petrochemicals terminal continues to burn say reviews of the air quality around the facility show it is not dangerous to individuals.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said yesterday that officials continue monitoring air quality levels following the fire at Intercontinental Terminals Company in Deer Park, about 15 miles southeast of Houston.

But Hidalgo says the latest air quality information available doesn’t show levels beyond a threshold “that would make this dangerous.”

ITC spokeswoman Alice Richardson says a report done by an environmental consultant hired by the company shows the air quality was below levels that would represent a health risk.

Fire crews continue to battle the blaze, which began on Sunday. It’s expected to burn for another two days.

MURDER TRIAL SET FOR DALLAS OFFICER WHO SHOT UNARMED BLACK NEIGHBOR

DALLAS (AP) — A date has been set for the murder trial of a white former Dallas police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man in his own apartment.

Court records show that Amber Guyger is to begin a jury trial on Monday, Aug. 12, less than a year after she shot Botham Jean, whose apartment she says she mistook for her own.

Guyger was arrested on a manslaughter charge three days after the Sept. 6 shooting of her neighbor, a 26-year-old native of the Caribbean island of St. Lucia who worked in Dallas for an accounting and consulting firm.

The case drew national attention and the initial charge was criticized as being lenient. Guyger was fired from the Dallas Police Department in September. A grand jury indicted her for murder in November.

WOMAN ARRESTED AFTER 9-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER FOUND IN DUFFEL BAG

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Authorities have arrested a woman on suspicion of murder after the body of her 9-year-old daughter was found in a duffel bag along a suburban horse trail near Los Angeles.

Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials say Taquesta Graham is expected to be charged tomorrow.

Prosecutors last week charged Graham’s boyfriend, Emiel Hunt, with murder in the killing of Trinity Love Jones.

The girl’s body was found March 5 in the suburb of Hacienda Heights. She was wearing a pink shirt that said, “Future Princess Hero.”

Graham was extradited from Texas to Southern California last week and was initially held on an unrelated warrant.

MAN ACCUSED OF SEXUAL ASSAULT AND MURDER OF BABY

RIPLEY, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia man accused of sexually assaulting and killing his girlfriend’s 10-month-old baby says he consumed several beers and could not recall what happened to the girl the night of her death.

WCHS-TV reports Benjamin Taylor testified yesterday in his trial in Jackson County Circuit Court.

Asked by a prosecutor whether he denied committing the crimes, Taylor said, “I don’t know how I could deny it if I don’t remember. I wouldn’t feel comfortable denying it.”

Taylor says he recalled doing laundry and listening to music.

A sheriff’s deputy testified last week Taylor had blood on his torso and a wet spot on his pants when officers went to the home in Fairplain in October 2016.

The defense rested after Taylor’s testimony and the trial is scheduled to resume today.