Haven Hackworth, 25, of Marsing was sentenced Monday in a Canyon County courtroom of a charge of involuntary manslaughter, after police say he left a 5-month-old in a car.
Judge George Southworth sentenced Hackworth to one-and-one-half-years fixed, followed by two years indeterminate, for a total unified sentence of 3.5 years in prison.
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 warrant in August of last year after an investigation by the Caldwell Police Department determined he left a 5-month old baby in the back seat of a car for several hours -- causing her to die of hyperthermia.
According to police, Hackworth went to a car dealership in May 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 for several hours. At one point, Hackworth returned to the car to get his vape pen, and still 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 still didn’t remember the baby was in the back seat. Hackworth finally remembered the baby after he left the dealership in a new car,” said Canyon County spokesman Joe Decker in a prepared statement.
“He then called the salesman, panicked, 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 the baby arrived at the hospital, she was pronounced dead due to hyperthermia. Her core temperature was over 106 degrees,” Decker said.
During the sentencing hearing, Judge Southworth stated, “Nothing I do can bring her back. 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,” said Canyon County Prosecutor Bryan Taylor.