Harris appeared in court today, where a detective testified that he had been sexting with six different women, including a 17-year-old to whom he sent a photo of his erect penis, as Cooper, 22-month-old son, died. That bit of ostensibly unrelated information was allowed by the judge because the hearing was meant to establish probable cause, CNN reports.
Last week, we learned that Harris and his wife had reportedly researched children and animals dying in cars before the incident, and in court it was revealed that the father had also looked into how to survive in prison and visited a subreddit called "childfree," which has since been made private.
Witnesses told police they heard "squealing tires, and the vehicle came to a stop," Cobb County police Detective Phil Stoddard testified. Harris exited the vehicle yelling, "Oh, my God, what have I done?" Stoddard said.
The 33-year-old father then stood there with a blank look on his face, the detective said. When a witness told Harris his son needed CPR, Harris went to the other side of his vehicle and made a phone call, apparently to tell someone his son was dead, a witness told police, according to Stoddard.
Harris never called 911, and when an officer told him to get off his phone, he refused and even said, "F*** you" before an officer took his phone and handcuffed him, the detective said.
Harris later made statements that police felt were strange, including "I can't believe this is happening to me" and "I'll be charged with a felony," according to Stoddard. Harris also talked about losing his job, he said.
When Leanna Harris went to pick up her son from daycare, she was told he had never been dropped off, and seemed to immediately realize what had happened.
"Ross must have left him in the car," she replied, according to Stoddard. Witnesses said they tried to tell her many other things could have happened, but Leanna Harris insisted that Ross Harris must have left him in the car, Stoddard said.
The parents may have been having money problems, Detective Stoddard argued, and had taken out two insurance policies totaling $27,000 on Cooper's life. He also claimed there was evidence that Justin Ross Harris was living a "second life" with "alternate personalities and alternate personas." Harris is being held without bail.
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