Po­lice: Dad in­ten­tion­ally left child in hot car

The Covington News - - THE WIRE -

MA­RI­ETTA, Ga. (AP) — Justin Ross Har­ris was a de­voted and lov­ing fa­ther who talked about his tod­dler son of­ten, his friends and fam­ily say. But prose­cu­tors have por­trayed him as a man un­happy in his mar­riage who ex­changed nude pho­tos with sev­eral women as his son died in a hot SUV.

Har­ris, 33, faces mur­der and child cru­elty charges in the June 18 death of his 22-month-old son Cooper, who po­lice say 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 Thurs­day, pros­e­cu­tor Chuck Bor­ing ques­tioned a po­lice de­tec­tive at length, out­lin­ing ev­i­dence he said proves Har­ris in­ten­tion­ally left his young boy in the hot SUV. But de­fense at­tor­ney Maddox Kil­gore ar­gued the ev­i­dence was in­suf­fi­cient and that the boy’s death was a tragic ac­ci­dent.

A judge de­clined at the end of the hear­ing to grant Har­ris bond, mean­ing he will re­main in jail as law en­force­ment of­fi­cers con­tinue to in­ves­ti­gate and present their find­ings to the Cobb County district at­tor­ney, who will de­cide how to pro­ceed with the case.

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