COBB COUNTY, Ga. - The Cobb County man accused of killing his toddler son by leaving him in his SUV on a hot summer day lost a pair of legal battles in court Tuesday.
Channel 2's Ross Cavitt was in the courtroom as lawyers for Justin Ross Harris tried to keep some of what he told police out of his upcoming trial.
Officer Jacquelyn Piper with the Cobb County Police Department was one of the first cops on the scene that day in June 2014. She testified Ross Harris cursed when another officer asked him to get off the phone.
“Something to the effect, pardon my language but, 'shut the **** up,'” Piper said.
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Piper said Harris was not acting like a father whose toddler son was lying unresponsive just a few feet away.
“The yelling was somewhat monotone, not what you'd normally see at death scene where you'd see tears,” Piper said.
Channel 2’s camera caught Harris in the back of Piper's squad car that day. His outburst prompted officers to cuff Harris then ship him off to police headquarters.
“When we were getting ready to photograph him I said, ‘Ross this is what you're going to be charged with,’” said Detective Phil Stoddard with the Cobb County Police Department
Stoddard testified after several hours they had decided to charge Harris with murder and cruelty to children, and again the conversation turned bizarre.
“And then he made the comment that there was no malicious intent, again it was an unusual statement. I'd never heard from a defendant before," Stoddard said.
But because Harris had already indicated he didn't want to speak with detectives any longer, his attorneys asked a judge to have those statements and those at the scene excluded from the trial.
But the judge ruled those statements were not the result of direct police questioning.
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