Justin Harris indicted on Malice Murder in Cooper’s hot car death
WASHINGTON, September 4, 2014 – A Cobb County, Georgia Grand Jury, has indicted Justin Ross Harris on 8 counts, including felony murder and malice murder, the most serious charge possible.
The accused person, Justin Ross Harris, on the 18th of June unlawfully and with malice of forethought caused the death of a child, Cooper Harris.
The malice murder charge could lead to a death penalty. The charges imply that the death of Cooper was premeditated, deliberate and pre-planned. The charge of felony murder is a strategy that allows the jury a fall back to felony murder if the jury cannot reach malice.
Harris has also been indicated on dissemination of material harmful to minors the sexting with girls under the age of 18 that Harris is accused of. That sexting includes sending pictures of his erect penis to minor girls.
Harris pleaded not guilty to murder and child cruelty charges stemming from the death of 22-year-old toddler Copper Harris’ death. Cooper, died June 18 after his father left him for seven hours in a sweltering SUV in the parking lot of the Home Depot office where he worked. The toddler was strapped in his car seat, left while Harris went to work, and lunch, inlcuding an alleged visit back to the car mid day even as the child presumably laid dead from heat exposure inside the car.
Cobb County Chief Magistrate Frank Cox signed off on the early charges, noting that “the stench in the car was overwhelming” when Harris got into the car after work, however, he failed to react, instead driving for a period of time before “noticing” the boy was in the car.
The grand jury charges could supersede the earlier filed charges.
Harris has been held without bond since the child’s death. Whether he will be able to post bail now that the formal charges are made is yet to be seen. Charges had been reduced from first- to second-degree.
Prosecutor have characterized Harris as an unfaithful husband who, seeking a childless life, intentionally left his son to die a horrific death.