A jury has been selected in the murder trial of Justin Ross Harris, who is accused of intentionally leaving his 22-month old son, Cooper, in a SUV to die. Harris is facing eight charges, including malice murder, felony murder and child cruelty. He is also facing charges for allegedly sexting underage girls on the day his son was left to die in the parking lot of the Home Depot Corporate Headquarters in Cobb County, Georgia. Harris claims that he is innocent and this was all a tragic accident.
The jury, which was picked Monday, is made up of 8 women and 8 men. There are four alternates. The majority of the jurors have children. On Monday, Cobb County Assistant District Attorney, Bruce Boring, gave a powerful 2 hour-long opening statement. Boring carefully went through a detailed timeline of what happened that day, telling the jurors that Harris clearly planned to kill his son.
“He was texting over 30 people—most of them women, most of them about sex—women he had met before, professed love to, met online and told he was unhappy in his marriage. While his child was cooking to death,” Boring told the jury.
WATCH OPENING STATEMENT PROSECUTION PART 1:
On June 18, 2014, prosecutors explained that Harris went to a Chick-Fil-A with his son and arrived at the Home Depot Headquarters parking lot at around 9:25 a.m. He never dropped the child off at daycare. Boring then detailed a lunch trip that Harris took with some buddies during work. At that time, Harris apparently ran an errand to pick up lightbulbs. The prosecutors explain that Harris dropped the lightbulbs back at his car — somehow without noticing that his 22 month old was dead inside. At 4:16 p.m, he drove away from work, prosecutors said, with the windows up. At 4:22 pm, he pulls into a shopping mall and starts make a commotion when he discovered his son. Someone calls 911. The prosecutor said that upon realizing his son was dead, Harris did not call 911. Boring also asked how it was possible that Harris didn’t smell earlier a decomposing body, and the stench from a child who had soiled his clothes in his car. At the mall parking lot, Harris can reportedly heard saying “What have I done? What have I done?”
WATCH OPENING STATEMENT PART 2:
The prosecutor said that after police were called, he was taken back to the station. While Harris was in the patrol car, he allegedly started complaining about the heat. He also apparently tried to make small talk with the female police officer.
“The car seat was inches away from the drivers seat. That little boy’s head was right there. The police thought initially that this didn’t make sense,” Boring said. That’s what leads them to investigate the events further. The prosecutor said that Harris also told them a number of lies after he was taken him back to the police station, including that he was in a “good marriage.” Another strange twist. After a detective tells Harris that he is being charged with a crime, Harris allegedly responded, “there was no malicious intent.” The defense is expected to start with their opening statement at 9:00 am Tuesday morning. Harris has long held that this was all an accident, and that he never meant to leave his child in a hot car. We will detail the defense’s side in a thorough post tomorrow after opening statements. LawNewz.com will continue our live coverage here with legal analysis, starting at 9:00 am.