Sexting dad left baby to die in hot car, court is told
US prosecutors say a man unhappy in his marriage exchanged nude photos with several women as his son died in a hot vehicle.
Justin Ross Harris (33) faces murder and child cruelty charges in the death of his 22-month-old son Cooper, who police say was left in a vehicle for about seven hours on a day when temperatures in the Atlanta area reached at least into the high 80s.
The medical examiner's office said the boy died of hyperthermia – essentially overheating – and has called his death murder.
During a three-hour hearing, prosecutor Chuck Boring questioned a police detective, outlining evidence he said proves Harris intentionally left his young boy in the hot SUV on June 18.
But defence lawyer Maddox Kilgore argued the evidence was insufficient and that the boy's death was an accident.
Friends and family say Harris was a devoted and loving father who talked about his toddler son often. 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.
Harris was ordered to remain in jail as the police probe continues. He has told police he forgot to drop the boy off at day care, instead driving straight to work.