GLYNN COUNTY, Ga. — Ross Harris’ lead defense attorney, Maddox Kilgore, said despite the jury’s verdict, he knows his client is not guilty and plans to file an appeal.
Kilgore was extremely emotional as he spoke to reporters outside the courthouse Monday evening.
Earlier in the afternoon, jurors found Harris guilty on eight counts, including malice murder, for killing his 22-month-old son, Cooper, by intentionally leaving him inside a hot car for nearly seven hours in June 2014.
The decision came on the fourth day of deliberations.
“When an innocent person is convicted, there’s been some breakdowns in the system, and that’s what happened here,” Kilgore said. “Over the next couple of months and years we’re gonna work towards getting to the bottom of some of those breakdowns. Obviously, we’re gonna be filing the necessary paperwork for a motion for a new trial and appeal.”
Kilgore said he’s never once believed his client was guilty.
“On a more personal level, I’ll tell you that from the moment we met Ross Harris, we’ve never once, ever, once wavered in our absolute belief that he’s not guilty of what he’s just been convicted of,” he said.
Kilgore says over the course of the case, every person he’s taken to speak with Harris believes the same thing.
“Each time I take a new person over to the jail, a new lawyer, an investigator, we walk out of the jail and inevitably they turn their head to me and say, ‘My God, he’s really not guilty,’ because he’s not,” Kilgore said.
He said after the verdict was read, Harris, who didn’t show much emotion in the courtroom, told them he could finally begin to grieve his son’s death.
“Ross didn’t say a word. Not one word about what happened in that courtroom. Instead, he recognized that now he can begin the grieving process that he’s not been able to go through the last two-plus years. And he talked about Cooper -- how much he misses him, how much he’s missed him since June 18, 2014, how much he’ll continue to miss him,” Kilgore said.
Sentencing will take place at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 5 in Cobb County.
The District Attorney's Office said Harris is facing a maximum of life in prison without parole plus an additional 42 years.
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