Justin Ross Harris: Hearing set as father who left baby in hot car while ‘sexting’ underage girls seeks new trial

Justin Ross Harris, a Georgia man serving a life sentence for killing his toddler son, wants a new trial.

AJC reports that Superior Court Judge Mary Staley Clark in Cobb County scheduled several days to listen to Justin Ross Harris’ hearing, from December 14-16, where his lawyer will argue for a new murder trial.

Harris, who worked at the Vinings Home Depot headquarters as a web designer, left his 22-month-old son, Cooper, inside a hot SUV in the parking lot of the headquarters office on June 18, 2014.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, Harris insists that the death was an accident. He said he thought he dropped his son at daycare that morning, before he walked into his office for the day.

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Experts testified that the little boy was likely dead by noon, given that the temperatures inside the car had reached around 98 degrees. Ross walked to his vehicle during lunchtime but claimed he didn’t notice Cooper still strapped in his car seat as he placed an item in the vehicle.

FILE – In this Oct. 31, 2016, file photo, defense attorney Maddox Kilgore holds a photo of Cooper Harris during a murder trial for his father Justin Ross Harris who is accused of intentionally killing him in June 2014 by leaving him in the car in suburban Atlanta, in Brunswick, Ga. News outlets report a Cobb County judge will hear Justin Ross Harris’ appeal in December, 2020, nearly four years after he was convicted for murder. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, Pool, File)

Harris returned to his office after lunch and began sending explicit messages to an underage girl. Later that evening, Harris pulled his SUV over into the Akers Mill Square shopping center on Cobb Parkway and began screaming.

According to witnesses, Harris attempted CPR on the toddler, although it was apparent Cooper was already deceased.

“Justin was witnessed yelling, ‘Oh my god what have I done’,” the warrant read. “He then began doing CPR on the child. EMS responded to the scene. It was obvious that the child was deceased.”

Prosecutors said Harris wanted to be free of responsibility and planned in advance how he would kill his son.

During the murder trial, jurors listened intently to testimony from eight women who had contact with Harris. Some had sex with Harris, who was married at the time, while others testified that they or exchanged sexually explicit texts and naked photos with him.

Further, Harris admitted he previously searched online for information on children’s deaths inside vehicles. Harris claimed he made the searches because he was “fearful” it could happen to his son.

“During an interview with Justin, he stated that he recently researched, through the internet, child deaths inside vehicles and what temperature it needs to be for that to occur. Justin stated that he was fearful that this could happen,” the warrants read.

In 2016, a jury convicted Harris of malice murder and sentenced him to life in prison. He’s currently housed in a segregation unit at Macon State Prison, for his own protection, according to his attorney, Carlos Rodriguez.

“Prison changes you,” Rodriguez said last year.

FILE – In this Thursday, July 3, 2014 file photo, Justin Ross Harris, the father of a toddler who died after police said the child was left in a hot car for about seven hours, sits for his bond hearing in Cobb County Magistrate Court in Marietta, Ga. On Wedensday, Sept. 24, 2014, a prosecutor said that he won’t seek the death penalty against Harris after reviewing the state’s death penalty statute and other factors. (AP Photo/Marietta Daily Journal, Kelly J. Huff, Pool)

Harris is pushing for a new trial on grounds that “prejudicial testimony” made it an “absolute impossibility” for him to receive a fair trial, according to AJC. Harris’ defense team argued that showing evidence of affairs and sexual addiction tainted the jury’s view of Harris.

The defense team also argued that the court stopped them from questioning the credibility of the police officers who testified during his trial.

If Clark decides to rule against the motion for a new trial in December, Harris has the legal right to appeal the ruling with the Georgia Supreme Court.

Check back for updates.

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[Feature Photo: Cooper Harris/Handout]