Subscribe

Justin Ross Harris charged with murder after son's hot car death

Justin Ross Harris was charged with murder Thursday, more than two months after the death of his two year-old son, who was left in the back of a car for hours.

  • close
    Justin Ross Harris sits in Cobb County Magistrate Court in Marietta, Georgia in this July 3, 2014 file photo. Harris is being charged with malice murder in the case of his 22-month-old son who he left for seven hours in a car while he was at work June 18, 2014.
    Kelly Huff/ Reuters/FILE
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption
of

More than two months after his son's death in a hot car, a Georgia man who prosecutors say sat in his office exchanging nude photos with women while his son languished for hours was charged with murder on Thursday.

A Cobb County grand jury indicted Justin Ross Harris on multiple charges, including malice murder, felony murder, and cruelty to children. The malice murder charge indicates that prosecutors believe that Mr. Harris intentionally left his son Cooper in the hot car to die.

The eight-count indictment also includes charges related to sexually explicit exchanges prosecutors say Harris had with an underage girl.

Harris has been in jail since his arrest the day his 22-month-old son died. Harris' lawyer, Maddox Kilgore, did not immediately respond to a phone message and email seeking comment.

Harris has told police he was supposed to drive his son to day care the morning of June 18 but drove to work without realizing that the child was strapped into a car seat in the back.

Police have said the toddler was left in a vehicle for about seven hours on a day when temperatures in the Atlanta area reached at least into the high 80s. The medical examiner's office has said the boy died of hyperthermia – essentially overheating – and has called his death a homicide.

During a three-hour hearing in July, prosecutor Chuck Boring questioned a police detective at length, outlining evidence he said proved that Harris intentionally left his young boy in the hot SUV. But defense attorney Maddox Kilgore argued that the evidence was insufficient and that the boy's death was a tragic accident.

Harris was sitting in his office exchanging nude photos with several women, including a teenager, the day his son died, Cobb County Police Detective Phil Stoddard testified at the hearing.

The indictment also accuses Harris of asking a girl under the age of 18 to send him a nude photo and of sending nude photos of himself and sexually explicit messages to her. It charges him with attempting to sexually exploit a child and with disseminating harmful material to a minor.

Stoddard said Harris also had looked at websites advocating a child-free lifestyle and had researched how long it takes to die in a hot car.

Harris is a native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and moved to Georgia in 2012 to work for Home Depot. According to reports, Home Depot has terminated his employment since the incident in June.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome
 
 
Make a Difference
Inspired? Here are some ways to make a difference on this issue.
FREE Newsletters
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.
 

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK