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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
News >  Idaho

Man sentenced for leaving baby to die in hot car

Associated Press

CALDWELL, Idaho – An Idaho man was sentenced for involuntary manslaughter for leaving his then-girlfriend’s 5-month-old child to die in a hot car while car shopping at a dealership.

Haven Hackworth, of Marsing, was sentenced Monday to nine months in county jail and three years probation.

“I apologize to the family,” Hackworth said Monday during his sentencing. “I can’t imagine what any of them are going through.”

Hackworth pleaded guilty in November to felony involuntary manslaughter.

“Judge,” he said to 3rd District Judge George Southworth, “I want you to know I’ve been doing anything I can to make that right. A mistake like this, I understand how severe it is. I’m sorry.”

Hackworth was arrested on a felony warrant in August 2017 after an investigation by the Caldwell Police Department.

Hackworth left Elisa Johnson’s child, Kyrae, in the car for more than four hours on May 20, 2017, while shopping for a new vehicle at Dennis Dillon in Caldwell, Canyon County Prosecutor Erica Kallin said

Hackworth, after dropping Johnson off at work, went to the car dealership, where he left Kyrae covered by a blanket in the car, a probable cause affidavit said. The temperature was around 75 degrees.

At one point, Hackworth returned to the car to get his vape pen and didn’t realize the baby was still inside the car, police said.

Hackworth remembered the baby after he left the dealership in a new car.

He then called the salesman in a panic and asked him to check on the baby. The salesman located the baby in the back seat of the car and told investigators she was stiff to the touch.

When officers arrived on scene, the child was unresponsive.

Kyrae’s core temperature was found to be 106 degrees. She died of hyperthermia, according to the Canyon County Coroner’s Office.

“This was a difficult case for everyone involved, but I’m hopeful it can serve as a reminder to parents everywhere about the dangers of leaving young children in cars, especially as we approach the summer months where temperatures can reach well over 100 degrees,” Prosecutor Bryan Taylor said.

Hackworth must also pay a $5,000 civil penalty along with $1,889 in restitution.

Hackworth and Johnson now have a 2-month-old child. The court issued a no-contact order to prevent Hackworth from contacting Johnson. The order does not prevent Hackworth from seeing his 2-month-old child.

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