Cobb, GA, United States (4E) – The father of a toddler who died inside a hot car in Georgia last month was denied bail on Thursday as the judge hearing his case found enough evidence that he intentionally left his son in the backseat to die from heat.
Cobb Chief Magistrate Judge Frank Cox issued the decision for Justin Ross Harris, 33, who had pleaded not guilty to the charges of child cruelty and felony murder claiming he forgot his 22-month-old son in the backseat of his car when he went to work at Home Depot on June 18. Harris found his son dead when he was driving home after work.
Investigators said the circumstances that led to the death of Cooper Harris, 22 months old indicate his father’s negligence. The father’s mobile phone records indicated he was sexting while at work and while his son was dying from extreme heat inside the car. His laptop computer also showed he searched for articles on life without children, and viewed videos on Reddit that showed people dying — by suicide or execution, in some cases.
Harris had also twice viewed a video that shows the painful death of animals left in hot cars, and had searched for how to survive in prison, according to Cobb County Police Department Detective Phil Stoddard.
The other evidence against Harris was his failure to call 911 after finding the boy dead at the backseat of his SUV and his wife’s unusual reaction to the death of her son.
Harris’ colleagues, however, told the judge and prosecutors at the hearing that he was a loving and caring dad.