COBB COUNTY, Ga. - The state announced it will not seek the death penalty for a man accused of intentionally leaving his son in a hot car.
Ross Harris, 33, faces eight charges that include one count of malice murder and two counts of felony murder.
Vic Reynolds, district attorney for the Cobb judicial circuit, said the following in a statement:
“After reviewing Georgia’s death penalty statute and considering other factors, the State will not seek the death penalty in this case at this time. I cannot and will not elaborate at this juncture of the case.
Furthermore, due to a scheduling conflict with the defense, the State has consented to their request to postpone the arraignment until 9 a.m. on Oct. 17 before Cobb Superior Court Judge Mary E. Staley.”
Prosecutors say Harris left his 22-month-old son Cooper in a hot SUV for hours while he went to work at Home Depot in Cobb County.
His defense attorney Maddox Kilgore said the prosecution’s argument was based on theories.
"The truth is Cooper's death was a horrible, gut-wrenching accident. It was always an accident," Kilgore said.
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 an indictment.
"It's still going to be a terrible gut-wrenching accident and all the eccentricities’ and moral failures of Ross' life aren't going to change that fact," said Kilgore.
“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 Reynolds.
Harris’ wife Leanna Harris has not been charged in the case. She passed a polygraph test when asked if she had any involvement or prior knowledge that her son would be left in a car.
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