Police: Dad sent nude photos while boy sat in car

Thursday, July 3, 2014 3:13 PM
Last updated 10:15 PM
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MARIETTA, Ga. — A Georgia man who police say intentionally killed his toddler son by leaving the boy inside a hot SUV was exchanging nude photos with women the day his son died and had looked at websites that advocated against having children, a detective testified Thursday.

Harris   ASSOCIATED PRESS
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Harris

See photos from the hearing

Cobb County Police Detective Phil Stoddard testified at a hearing that evidence showed Justin Ross Harris was practically leading a double life and should not be granted bond. Stoddard described the evidence police have suggesting Harris, who is charged with murder, killed his 22-month-old son Cooper intentionally.

Harris and his wife had two life insurance policies for the toddler, one for $2,000 and one for $25,000. Furthermore, Harris' wife had become unhappy with her husband's spending habits, Stoddard said.

At that same hearing, a judge refused to grant bond for Harris, meaning he will remain in jail.

Harris has told police he was supposed to drive his son to day care the morning of June 18 but drove to work without realizing that his son was strapped into a car seat in the back.

Harris was exchanging nude photos with several women, including at least one teenager, even on the day his son died when he was at work, Stoddard said.

However, defense attorney Maddox Kilgore said that evidence had no bearing on Harris' intent.

"I think the real purpose of all that is to publicly shame him," Kilgore said.

Kilgore also Harris and his family will have to deal with this catastrophic accident for the rest of their life. Harris, who was stoic through most of the hearing, began crying at that point.

In the weeks before the boy's death, the man also had looked at a website that advocated against having children and had done an Internet search for "how to survive in prison," the detective said.

"I think the evidence now is showing intent," Stoddard said. He said Harris should remain in jail because he is a flight risk: There is evidence he was leading a double life, he has family in Alabama, and the former 911 dispatcher has law enforcement experience.

Harris is a native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and moved to Georgia in 2012 to work for Home Depot.

The detective said after the boy died, Harris showed no emotion while being interviewed by investigators. At one point after Harris pulled over with the dead child in a strip mall parking lot, an officer told Harris to get off his cellphone, Stoddard said. Harris twice refused, using profanity, and was then arrested.

Scores of reporters and some curious members of the public were at the hearing just outside Atlanta, where police and prosecutors laid out the most detailed account yet of their case against Harris. Some of Harris' supporters also were in the courtroom, as was his wife.

Stoddard also described Harris' account of what happened that morning. Harris portrayed himself to investigators as a doting father who always kissed his son when he strapped him into the car seat because "he wanted Cooper to know his daddy loves him," the detective said.

Harris told police he had watched cartoons in bed with the boy, then had breakfast with him at a Chick-fil-A restaurant. Harris said he forgot to drop the boy off at day care, instead driving straight to work.

Harris has said he did not realize the boy was still in the car until he left work. A defense witness testified that Harris appeared to be extremely upset after pulling into the parking lot, trying to do CPR on his son.

"He was saying, 'Oh my God, oh my God, my son is dead, oh my God,'" witness Leonard Madden said.

Alex Hall, a friend of Harris since their sophomore year of college and a co-worker at Home Depot, said Harris talked about how much he loved his son all the time. He said he, another co-worker, Winston Milling, and Harris had gone to lunch the day the boy died and had planned to go to the movies after work that day.

"Nothing stuck out," he said. "Nothing was weird."

The two men later took Harris to his car so he could put a couple of light bulbs he had purchased inside.

Kilgore, the defense attorney, said that showed Harris did not mean to leave the boy there.

"If that were the case, why in the world would he bring his colleagues right up to the car?" he asked.

Kilgore said Harris had also sent his wife a text that afternoon asking, "When are you going to pick up my buddy?"

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foxsilong
762
Points
foxsilong 07/08/14 - 01:48 pm
5
0
exchanged nude pics with teens during work on the day son dies

I don't know if the teenagers were over 18, but if they are under that age he'd be charged with something more.
Watching cartoon and eating breakfast with your son (And the AP coverage mentioned that this man takes his son to daycare everyday as a routine)........the two words "I forgot" don't quite explain that.
He searched for "how to survive through prison"?
He should search for "how to survive the criticism through out the whole world for eternity."

SimpleGirl
407
Points
SimpleGirl 07/03/14 - 06:04 pm
11
0
I watched

the trial today on HLN and cried the whole time. These parents showed no emotions, no tears whatsoever...and all the mother could do was chew gum and look bored the whole time. So much came out today that we didn't know so its likely those who thought it was an accident, have probably changed their minds. So glad the judge didn't allow bond. I can't get it out of my mind what that sweet, innocent baby went through. I wish this man would be placed in a cell with no windows and high heat on 24/7. Maybe then he just might think about what he put his baby through. Hope he then gets the death penalty. God bless that child.

IBeDogGone
3014
Points
IBeDogGone 07/03/14 - 06:13 pm
11
0
The Mother

I do not understand why no charges have been made against her. This has to be one of the sickest crimes against a child I have ever seen!

corgimom
32412
Points
corgimom 07/03/14 - 06:28 pm
8
4
When you have no remorse, you

When you have no remorse, you don't react. The only thing he is sorry about is that he got caught.

jimmymac
39731
Points
jimmymac 07/03/14 - 06:54 pm
1
0
CORGI
Unpublished

This jerk is the male counterpart to Casey Anthony. She got away with being responsible for her daughter Kaley's death. Hopefully a GA jury won't be as stupid as the Fla. jury that acquitted Anthony of even child neglect. Come on GA convict this guy and send him to the gurney to await a needle.

Dixieman
14943
Points
Dixieman 07/04/14 - 08:00 am
9
0
Wha?

Researched children's death in hot cars before leaving his son in one? Googling sites about why you shouldn't have kids? Sending Anthony Weiner selfies to teenage girls the same day? What's next, joining Al Queda? How can this guy possibly make it worse for himself???

unapologetik
964
Points
unapologetik 07/03/14 - 11:21 pm
8
0
These people are scum! They

These people are scum! They don't deserve to walk amongst the prison population. They should be thrown under the jail and have spikes lowered on them slowly for their death penalty. This was pure premeditated evil at its finest.

myfather15
55706
Points
myfather15 07/04/14 - 05:29 am
8
0
Agree with all above!!

In law enforcement, we see some of the most heinous crimes imaginable!! But it's always a different level of disturbing when involving children. They are just so innocent!! A child that age has no ill feelings in their body!!

It's just hard to understand how anyone could TORTURE, a child the way these scum did!! I hate to hold the trial here on these pages, but it's not looking good for them. When they're convicted, they need to be exterminated from this earth as quickly as possible!!

iaaffg
2226
Points
iaaffg 07/04/14 - 06:28 am
6
0
the list of candidates for

the list of candidates for sterilization grows longer! add two more to it: this dolt and his idiot wife. btw: who would want to text this guy about anything, much less see nude photos of him? those women must be either desperate or stupid....probably both.

seenitB4
87180
Points
seenitB4 07/04/14 - 07:28 am
7
0
The odor in the car-enough to know

Officials also raised questions about how Harris could have driven almost two miles before noticing his son's body in the car. Police testified that Harris had not rolled down his windows after he got into his car and that they'd noticed a foul death smell in the vehicle as they examined it later.

When Harris' wife, Leanna, arrived at the daycare center in the afternoon and discovered that her son had never been dropped off there, witnesses reported that she said, “Ross must have left him in the car,” Stoddard said. When someone tried to comfort her and said there were "a thousand" reasons why he might not be at daycare, “She’s like, 'no,'” Stoddard testified.

Later, when police put the couple together in a police interview room, Harris got emotional, Stoddard said. “It was all about him: 'I can’t believe this is happening to me, why am I being punished for this,'” Stoddard testified. "He talked about losing his job," and said, "'I’ll be charged with a felony.'"

scoobynews
3854
Points
scoobynews 07/04/14 - 07:50 am
4
0
We all know that if this guy

We all know that if this guy makes it to prison his life expectancy may be short. Unless the guys in prison decide he needs to suffer a while before hand.

Airman
3764
Points
Airman 07/04/14 - 07:54 am
7
0
Day care center was in the

Day care center was in the same building as his office. The man needs to be treated the same way as his son was. I also question the wife's reaction. She is not as innocent as she says. I would be a basket case and probably under the care of a doctor. It is sad what's going on with young people today. Please please please raise your children the way we were raised back in the day of respect for human life, the fear of God and just show love and compassion

Airman
3764
Points
Airman 07/04/14 - 07:56 am
6
0
Scoobynews

Yes they could lock him in the boiler room, and you are right, even hardcore criminals don't like baby killers, or anyone who commits crimes against kids

carcraft
25815
Points
carcraft 07/04/14 - 11:37 am
0
3
I think we need to slow down.

I think we need to slow down. He isn't convicted yet, the evidence does look damning. I wonder how I would act. Sometimes when things get rough for me my world seems to narrow and I am not very emotional , just kinda numb! I how I look to a cop?

corgimom
32412
Points
corgimom 07/04/14 - 01:00 pm
4
0
Carcraft, if you opened your

Carcraft, if you opened your car door and you smelled a terrible odor, there is no doubt in my mind that you would immediately start looking for the source of the smell. You would think, if nothing else, that an animal had gotten trapped in your car and died.

Any person would- unless they had murdered their child.

corgimom
32412
Points
corgimom 07/04/14 - 01:03 pm
3
0
My personal opinion is that

My personal opinion is that he wanted to leave his wife and he didn't want to pay child support. He would've collected the insurance money and then left her.

But who in the HELL would want to look at nude photos of HIM??? EEEEEEEEWWWWW!

Bizkit
31423
Points
Bizkit 07/04/14 - 01:04 pm
1
1
Ever see the movie "Something

Ever see the movie "Something to Talk about"? Julia Roberts forgets her kid numerous times-It is considered comical as the absent mind Roberts character.

GiantsAllDay
9589
Points
GiantsAllDay 07/04/14 - 02:10 pm
4
0
The more I read about this

The more I read about this story the more nauseated I become.

IBeDogGone
3014
Points
IBeDogGone 07/04/14 - 03:13 pm
3
0
Something to Talk About`

Yes Julia Roberts did leave her kid several time in that movie but the child was not 22 months old locked in a car. There was always extended family and servants to pick up the slack for Julia and that was a movie not real life for Cooper probably on more occasions than this one.

happychimer
17591
Points
happychimer 07/04/14 - 04:15 pm
2
0
The latest is new warrants

The latest is new warrants for financial info, more insurance policies, and a search for light bulbs in the home. That sounds bad!

jimmymac
39731
Points
jimmymac 07/05/14 - 10:35 am
0
0
MOTIVE
Unpublished

I read that the couple had more than $20,000 insurance on the child. If that is indeed true that's the motive pure and simple. Who has that level of insurance on their two year old child?

Dseven
155
Points
Dseven 07/11/14 - 08:26 am
0
0
Rare position

I find myself in the rare position of agreeing with each and every post above. The only addition I can make is that satan has a special place in hell warming up for these two evil people. Most disturbing story I have read in years, from any news source, anywhere.

v4vendetta
251
Points
v4vendetta 07/11/14 - 12:27 pm
0
0
question

one weird thing regarding the search for how long before an animal dies when left in a hot closed car....
1.Did he search it to determine how long he could leave his child in BEFORE it could be come fatal?
That would make him a lazy idiot

2.Or, did he perform the search to determine how long he could leave his child in the car UNTIL it became fatal?
That would make it premeditated homocide.

Semantics, the guy is bad news either way, but these things could become issues in the court of law.

My first interpretation was option 1.

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