A 25-year-old Marsing man was sentenced Monday for involuntary manslaughter after he left an infant in a hot car while car shopping at a Caldwell dealership in May. The 5-month-old girl, whose core temperature soared to 106 degrees, died of hyperthermia that day.
District Judge George A. Southworth sentenced Haven R. Hackworth to one-and-half years fixed, followed by two years indeterminate, for a total unified sentence of three-and-half years in prison, according to a news release from the Canyon County Prosecutor’s Office. Southworth suspended the prison sentence in lieu of three years of felony probation and nine months in county jail. The judge also ordered Hackworth to pay a $5,000 civil penalty along with $1,889 in restitution.
Hackworth was arrested on a felony warrant in August 2017 after an investigation by the Caldwell Police Department determined he left the 5-month-old, Kyrae Vineyard, in the back seat of a car for several hours. According to police, Hackworth went to the dealership to purchase a new car and took the baby with him. While Hackworth went inside the dealership, he forgot about the baby and left her in the back seat.
At one point, Hackworth returned to the car to get his vape pen and didn’t realize the baby was still inside the hot car. He also received several text messages from the baby’s mother during the day and didn’t remember the baby was in the back seat. Caldwell police reported that Hackworth was in a relationship with Kyrae’s mother at the time of the child’s death.
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. Temperatures that day reached about 74 degrees.
When the baby arrived at the hospital, she was pronounced dead due to hyperthermia.
“Nothing I do can bring her back,” Judge Southworth said. “Only hope of what I do is to reinforce to others with young children out there that they have a real obligation to care for and love those children and ensure their safety. Mr. Hackworth violated that obligation and it had tragic consequences.”
“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.