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Ross Harris, accused of leaving 2-year-old son in hot car to die, released from prison

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — A man accused of leaving his nearly 2-year-old son in a hot car to die in 2014 has been released from prison.

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Justin Ross Harris was originally sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the death of his son Cooper Harris on June 18, 2014.

According to Georgia jail records, Harris was released from Macon State Prison on Sunday.

He’s now listed as an inmate at the Cobb County jail as of June 16. It’s unclear why he was transferred to the jail or how much time he may have to serve there.

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Harris told police he forgot to drop 22-month-old Cooper at daycare that morning, driving straight to his job as a web developer for Home Depot without remembering that Cooper was still in his car seat.

Cooper died after sitting for about seven hours in the back seat of the vehicle outside his father’s office. Temperatures that day reached at least into the high 80s.

Ross Harris was convicted of all eight counts related to Cooper’s death on Nov. 14, 2016.

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The case attracted national attention.

During the trial, prosecutors presented evidence that Harris was having multiple extramarital affairs, several with underage teenage girls.

Harris appealed his convictions for murder and first-degree child cruelty in 2022.

In his appeal, Harris and his attorneys argued the evidence presented at the trial wasn’t enough and the trial focused too much on his extramarital, and sometimes illegal, sexual activities.

The Georgia Supreme Court took up the case and ultimately reversed the counts related to Cooper’s death because the jury “heard and saw an extensive amount of improperly admitted evidence,” the court said in a release.

The district attorney’s office decided not to retry the case.

“After much thought and deliberation, we have made the difficult decision to not retry Justin Ross Harris on the reversed counts of the indictment,” the DA’s office said in a statement. “Cooper will always be remembered by this Office and those who fought for him.”

Harris stood convicted of the remaining counts of the indictment, including criminal attempt to commit sexual exploitation of children and dissemination of harmful material to minors.

He was sentenced to ten years on those charges.

Harris was initially incarcerated on Dec. 6, 2016.

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