Justin Ross Harris claims he accidentally left his 22-month-old son Cooper, in his car, in the Georgia heat in June. Cooper died from hyperthermia after spending hours trapped in his fathers car. Unfortunately for Harris, Cobb County, GA investigators don’t think his death was accidental and now a grand jury has indicted Harris.
Harris has been indicted for: Malice murder, felony murder, first degree murder, first degree child cruelty, second degree child cruelty, sexual exploitation of children, and dissemination of harmful material to minors.
Investigators believe Harris was motivated to purposely let his child die because he had the desire to lead a child-free life. Investigators point to the fact that Harris was “sexting” with up to six different women, while his son literally baked to death.
Some of the “women” were actually underage females, which is why he is charged with sexual exploitation of children, and disseminating harmful material to a minor. Harris is alleged to have sent pictures of his erect penis to underage females as well.
Additionally, Harris was also a regular visitor to the website “reddit” and visited a section of the website dedicated to living a “child-free” life. Which is obviously problematic since he is the father of a 22-month-old.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution has a great article breaking down what charges Harris is facing, and what prosecutors must prove in order to get a conviction on the charges. You can read that here.
Cobb County, GA D.A. Vic Reynolds is even considering seeking the death penalty against Harris, and will announce their decision regarding the death penalty in a couple of weeks.
But what about Leanna Harris, the mother of Cooper and wife of Justin Harris? Cobb County, D.A. Vic Reynolds made this statement about the ongoing investigation regarding Cooper’s death, in a press conference after the indictment against Ross Harris was made public: “..whether or not it leads us to anyone else remains to be answered.”
Suspicion has swirled around Leanna Harris ever since investigators attributed some very odd statements to her. When she went to the police department to see her husband, the first words out of her mouth were: “Did you say too much?”
Moreover, when Leanna went to the daycare Cooper attended to pick him up, she was advised that he was never dropped off that morning. She made yet another odd statement: “Ross must have left him in the car,” she told employees of the daycare. How would she know? Is she psychic?
Leanna has also admitted to making computer searches regarding children dying while being left in hot vehicles. These searches occured before her son had died in one. But what would motivate Leanna to be in cahoots with her husband, to have her son die in a hot car?
Let’s explore the possibilities… Investigators claim the two had financial problems. According to CNN those problems included outstanding car and student loans. Furthermore, text messages were obtained by investigators that depicted Leanna and Ross Harris texting about a 4,000 credit card debt he had racked up.
Investigators also found it suspicious that Ross Harris was more concerned about a $27,000 life insurance policy he had on Cooper, instead of the death of his son.
Additionally, Leanna Harris also caused many to raise their eyebrows after she praised her husband, and made supportive comments about him during the funeral of Cooper.
Leanna Harris has not been named a suspect, however, she has not been cleared either. Her attorney, Lawrence Zimmerman issued this statement after the indictments against her husband were announced:
“I am surprised that the District Attorney is still contemplating after almost three months of reviewing the evidence whether or not to charge my client, if that is who he was referring to in his press conference..”
Now we are not only waiting to see if prosecutors seek the death penalty, but if Leanna Harris will face any charges. It’s a horrific thought, just thinking about the possibility of two parents collaborating in such an evil and malicious way to have their child endure such a painful death.