Ross Harris indicted on murder, 7 additional charges

Updated:

Loading

COBB COUNTY, Ga. - A grand jury indicted Ross Harris Thursday on eight charges, including malice murder, two counts of felony murder, cruelty to children in the first and second degree, criminal attempt to commit a felony and dissemination of harmful materials to minors. 

 


PDF:  Read the indictment

 


Harris, 33, is accused of intentionally leaving his 22-month-old son, Cooper, inside his SUV for seven hours while he was at work. He is being held at the Cobb County Jail on no bond.

Harris told investigators he forgot to take his son to day care in the morning. Prosecutors say he stopped for breakfast with Cooper at a Chick-Fil-A two minutes from where he parked for work at Home Depot.

The 8-count indictment shows prosecutors believe Cooper Harris' death was an intentional pre-planned act of murder that is potentially worthy of the death penalty.

After Thursday's indictment, Harris' defense attorney Maddox Kilgore spoke to the media, pointing out several inconsistencies and several differing theories in the indictment.

“That’s a lot of theories. Ross doesn’t have any theories. Just the truth and the truth doesn’t need a flow chart to follow, because the truth doesn’t change with the evidence,” said Kilgore. "The truth is Cooper's death was a horrible, gut-wrenching accident. It was always an accident."

In a probable cause hearing in July, detectives testified that Harris was in his office having explicit conversations with as many as six different women as his son died in the back seat of his car on a hot day.

Some of those details were included in Thursday's indictment.

"It's still going to be a terrible gut-wrenching accident and all the eccentrictites and moral failures of Ross' life aren't going to change that fact," said Kilgore.

Harris’ wife, Leanna, is not facing any charges in connection to her son’s death.

“The evidence in this case has led us to this point today. Whether or not it leads us to anyone else remains to be answered,” said Vic Reynolds, district attorney for the Cobb judicial circuit, in a news conference Thursday afternoon.

Leanna's attorney, Lawrence Zimmerman, released a statement following the news conference:

"The only thing I would say is this: 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. By now, I would think they would have been able to make a final decision and clear her from any wrongdoing."

Reynolds said Harris’ arraignment will be set in the next few weeks.

“Whether or not the state seeks the death penalty in this case will be made decision-wise on or before that arraignment date in the next two to three weeks,” said Reynolds.