Toddler dies in car in Georgia; murder and brutality charges against father dropped


A Georgia father will not stand up to a new trial over the death of a toddler in a hot car after last year’s Georgia Supreme Court, prosecutors said Thursday. overturned his murder and child abuse convictions.

Justin Ross HarrisThe 42-year-old was convicted in November 2016 of eight counts, including malicious murder in the June 2014 murder of his 22-month-old son Cooper.judgement sentenced him In addition to life imprisonment without parole, other crimes carry an additional 32 years in prison.

However, the state Supreme Court voted 6 to 3 Last June, it sought to overturn the murder and child abuse convictions after a jury saw “extremely and unfairly prejudicial” evidence.

In a statement, the Cobb County District Attorney’s Office, which prosecuted the case, said it disagreed with the majority’s decision. But the ruling left prosecutors with no material evidence of Harris’ motives available, he said.

Justin Ross Harris listens to the jury selection during his trial in Glynn County Courthouse in Brunswick, Georgia, Monday, October 3, 2016. Two years ago, Harris was charged with murder after her infant son died in the back seat of a hot SUV. (Stephen B. Morton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, Poole)

Stephen B. Morton, Associated Press

Prosecutors said they had thoroughly reviewed the entire case and decided not to retry Harris on reversed charges. A judge on Thursday approved the dismissal of those charges.

Harris’ attorneys Maddox Kilgore, Carlos Rodriguez and Brian Lumpkin have argued from the beginning that Harris was a loving father and that the boy’s death was a tragic accident.

“Ross has always accepted moral responsibility for Cooper’s death,” both suspects said in a statement after the charges were dismissed. “However, after years of investigation and consideration, the dismissal of the charges confirms that Cooper’s death was unintentional and therefore not a crime.”

The High Court upheld Harris’ conviction for three sex crimes against 16-year-old girls, which he did not appeal. He has a total of 12 years in prison for these charges, and he will continue to serve that sentence, the district attorney’s office said.

Harris had moved to the Atlanta area from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, in 2012 for work. Harris told police that he forgot to drop Cooper off to daycare on the morning of June 18, 2014, and went straight to his home-based web developer job. He leaves the car and leaves her child in the car seat.

Cooper died after sitting in the back seat of a Hyundai Tucson SUV for about seven hours outside his father’s office in the suburbs of Atlanta, where temperatures were at least in the high 80s that day.

All Georgia Supreme Court justices agreed that there was sufficient evidence to support Harris’ conviction. But the majority said much of the evidence relating to his sexual activity should not have been admitted at trial and may have improperly influenced the jury.

At the trial, prosecutors argued that Harris had a troubled marriage and killed his son in order to be free. To support their claim, they presented evidence of his extramarital affairs, including exchanging sexually explicit messages and graphic photos with women and girls and meeting for sex.

The High Court found that they “also presented a substantial body of evidence to guide the jury to answer another, more legally questionable question of who[Mr Harris]is.”

The dissent found that the state had the right to present detailed evidence of the “nature, extent and extent of the genuinely evil motives attributed to Harris,” and the trial court challenged the jury. He acknowledged that he was right to allow people to visit him. evidence.

Harris’ attorney said the incident “tragically fits the pattern of children being unintentionally left in cars.”

“Blaming a grieving parent for an unintended memory loss does nothing to prevent another parent from having a tragedy,” their statement said. “Indeed, hot car fatalities increased after Ross’ 2016 trial.”

The Harris case received extraordinary attention, received intense coverage in the Atlanta area, made national headlines, and sparked discussion online and on cable news channels. During the nearly three-week jury selection process, the presiding judge moved the trial to Brunswick, on the Georgia coast, after deciding that pre-trial publicity had made it very difficult to find a fair jury in the Atlanta suburb of Cobb County. Agreed to move.

According to the report, an average of 38 children under the age of 15 die each year from heatstroke left in cars, and more than 900 children have died since 1998. National Security Council. A record number of 53 children died in both 2018 and 2019. left in a hot car.

Weather Channel meteorologist Mike Betts told CBS Evening News anchor and editor-in-chief Nora O’Donnell that if the outside temperature is 100 degrees, the temperature inside the car will drop to 119 in just 10 minutes. Said it would be. After 30 minutes, the temperature inside the car is 134 degrees Celsius, making it “unviable for small children and pets in child seats”.


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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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