In a tragic story to come out of Alabama, Justin Ross Harris’s preliminary case hearing determined whether he will be charged with murder for allegedly letting his 22-month-old son to die in a hot car on June 18.
According to the Birmingham News, based on evidence gathered by the Cobb County police, prosecutors sought to charge the 33-year-old Tuscaloosa father with felony murder and child cruelty, while also citing his “alternative lifestyle.”
Court documents revealed that the father claimed he forgot to drop off his son Cooper at daycare, and instead, went straight to work at the Home Depot. While the boy was dying, his father was sexting six women — one recipient was underage — with explicit content, including nude photos.
Other evidence presented by the prosecutor included Justin’s disturbing internet searches, which included “childless lifestyle,” and “age of consent for Georgia.” The prosecution added that Justin and his wife, Leanna, had life insurance policies for Cooper totaling around $27,000. The couple also had financial difficulties, including a large amount of debt.
Several character witnesses, however, came forward to attest to Justin’s’ love for his son Cooper. One co-worker even said Justin “loved his son all the time.“ The attorney for the defense pleaded with the judge that Cooper’s death was merely “catastrophic” and “an accident.”
After hearing from both sides in the case, Judge Frank Cox ruled that there was enough evidence to move forward with a trial. As for Justin, he will be tried and held in jail without bond.
Source: Birmingham News