Warrants released in case of father accused in son's death - Atlanta News, Weather, Traffic, and Sports | FOX 5

Warrants released in case of father accused in son's death

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Justin Ross Harris appears in court at a probable cause hearing on July 3, 2014. A judge denied bond for Harris on murder and child cruelty charges, Justin Ross Harris appears in court at a probable cause hearing on July 3, 2014. A judge denied bond for Harris on murder and child cruelty charges,
The case has gained national attention with stations and networks across the country waiting for new details The case has gained national attention with stations and networks across the country waiting for new details
Cobb police testify during hearing Cobb police testify during hearing

A day after a judge denied bond for a Cobb County father facing charges in the death of his 22-month-old son, authorities released more documents related to the investigation.

Click here to read those newly-released search warrants.

Justin Ross Harris is charged with felony murder and child cruelty. His son Cooper died on June 18, after being left in a hot car for hours.

Harris claims he mistakenly left Cooper in his SUV when he went to work, forgetting to drop him off at daycare. But police say they believe Harris intentionally killed his son.

At a probable cause hearing Thursday, a detective testified that while the boy was dying in that car, his father was exchanging nude photos with women. Police further said that Harris had looked at websites that advocated against having children.

Cobb County Police Detective Phil Stoddard testified that evidence showed Harris was practically leading a double life and should not be granted bond. Stoddard described the evidence he said suggests 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 hearing, a judge refused to grant bond for Harris, meaning he will remain in jail.

Harris, 33, 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 the child 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 said Harris and his family will have to deal with what he called a catastrophic accident for the rest of their lives. Harris, who was stoic through most of the hearing, began crying at that point.

In the weeks before the boy's death, Harris 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.

"An accident doesn't become a crime because the results were catastrophic," Kilgore said, arguing there wasn't sufficient evidence to deny his client bond.

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.

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 and college friend, 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," Hall said. "Nothing was weird."

The two men later dropped Harris off at 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 also said Harris had sent his wife a text that afternoon asking, "When are you going to get my buddy?"

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Key points from the testimony delivered by Cobb Police Detective Phil Stoddard: 

-Mr. Harris 'would have seen' car seat when backing into the parking place at his work. 

-Witnesses say Harris walked away from child while a witness performed CPR on child.

-Detectives say Harris is a suspect in other crimes.

-Harris was reportedly 'sexting' with multiple women during the day, while child was in car.

-Harris sent sexually explicit messages to multiple women, detectives testified.

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