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The case of the man who cooked his son in his car

 
 
FOUND SOUL
 
  2  
Reply Thu 17 Jul, 2014 06:41 pm
@BillRM,
Quote:
So his sexting all day at work somehow proved that he knew his poor child was in his car?

Seems the very last thing he would do is to generated such material if he knew that he would come under investigation within hours due to the death of his child that would surely uncover his online actions.


http://edition.cnn.com/2014/07/03/justice/georgia-hot-car-toddler-death/

Quote:
Among the most shocking allegations: Justin Ross Harris messaged six women, sending and receiving explicit texts -- some including nude images -- from work while his 22-month-old was dying, a detective testified at the hearing.


Quote:
Harris' attorney repeatedly objected to Cobb County, Georgia, police Detective Phil Stoddard's testimony claiming that Harris sexted the women -- one of whom was underage at the time -- but the judge allowed it.
For him to enter the car ... when the child had been dead and rigor mortis had set in, and the testimony is the stench in the car was overwhelming at that point in time, that he -- in spite of that -- got in the car and drove it for some distance before he took any action to check on the welfare of his child, I find there is probable cause for the two charges contained in the warrant," Cox told a packed courtroom.


BillRM
 
  0  
Reply Thu 17 Jul, 2014 07:17 pm
@FOUND SOUL,
An yes we both know that he was sexing at the same time his child was dying however the question is still is did he know his child was in the car at the time or not!!!!!

That is what a jury need to decided and not the opinion of a police detective.
firefly
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jul, 2014 07:19 pm
@farmerman,
Quote:
DEPRAVED INDIFFERENCE MURDER in the US is Murder 2. Have they filed charges yet? If all this information is correct, this guy needs to be pokied and his wife looked into as accomplice.

They are already looking into his wife, and whether she was involved. And spousal privilege does not apply in this case, she can be compelled to testify.

They aren't going toward "depravated indifference"--not yet anyway. Instead, they are making a child cruelty case, with felony murder as a result of that cruelty to a child. In Georgia, when a child's death occurs in that way, as the result of extreme cruelty, it is automatically a felony murder, and such a case is eligible for the death penalty.
Quote:
Cobb County's district attorney said he was bound by law not to discuss the evidence in an active cases, but did read a written statement from the courthouse steps:

"Today, Cobb Chief Magistrate Judge Frank Cox conducted a Probable Cause and Bond Hearing in the case of The State v. Justin Ross Harris. After hearing evidence, Judge Cox bound the case over to Superior Court on the charges of cruelty to children in the second degree and felony murder.

Procedurally, the warrant is now sent to the Cobb District Attorney's Office for disposition. The investigation by Cobb Police is still in progress, and much work remains. Once law enforcement has completed the investigation, their file will be forwarded to the District Attorney's Office for review. Only then will prosecution decisions be made. As in all cases, only two elements dictate those decisions: the facts, and the law.

Media attention and public emotion have no effect on the decisions in this case.

Ethical standards prohibit the DA's office from commenting on the evidence, and we will not violate or compromise those standards in any way. This case will run its course and we will follow wherever the evidence leads us."

Defense attorney Maddox Kilgore briefly spoke to the media, saying he said everything he planned on saying inside the courtroom.
http://www.11alive.com/story/news/local/marietta/2014/07/03/father-faces-probable-cause-bond-hearing-in-hot-car-death/12143057/

So, so far, all they've had is a probable cause hearing in this case, and the charges are child cruelty and felony murder. They are taking it to a Grand Jury toward the end of the month. At the above link, you can see how they justified the current charges.

The state might decide not to try to prove malice, that might set the bar too high. But it's not clear yet how they have decided to prosecute, or what the final charges might be. We need to wait for the Grand Jury outcome to see where they are going.

Quote:
Public may have turned, but jurists see holes in case against Georgia dad

ATLANTA — For three relentless hours, Ross Harris served as a prosecutor's punching bag, his reputation leveled by one broadside after another.

By the time the recent probable cause hearing was over, he had become one of the nation's most infamous defendants — accused of intentionally leaving his toddler son in a sweltering SUV long enough to die.

But, while the public may have made up its mind about the baby-faced IT specialist, charged with felony murder and second-degree cruelty to children, legal experts say the case against him, while solid, is no slam dunk, especially if the charges are upgraded to indicate malice.

"Look at Casey Anthony," said jury consultant Jeri Cagle, referring to the Florida mother found not guilty of killing her 3-year-old daughter despite what prosecutors thought was overwhelming evidence.

Harris, 33, contends he mistakenly left his 22-month-old son Cooper locked in his car seat for seven hours as temperatures inside the 2011 Hyundai Tuscon soared above 130 degrees.

The case has generated headlines worldwide, and with good reason. According to those who track the number of children who have died when left in hot cars, this is the first time a parent or guardian has ever been accused of doing so on purpose.

"This is unprecedented," said Janette Fennell, president and founder of the advocacy group KidsAndCars.org. "I've examined over 700 cases in my career, and I've never heard of this before."

Cobb Assistant District Attorney Chuck Boring said at last week's hearing that evidence presented "has shown this was intentional." However, the charges don't yet reflect that.

Veteran criminal defense attorney Steve Sadow said the defense should push the prosecution to make up its mind on the issue of malice.

"I would want them to take a stand," Sadow said. "And, if they didn't, I'd exploit that. If they can't make up their mind, that indicates they can't prove it."

Upping the charges raises the bar on the prosecution. "I'd be hoping for that if I was the representing him," Sadow said. Charging Harris with intent to kill would make the defense's job a little easier, he said.

By doing so, the prosecution would, in essence, identify Harris as "a monster" without peer, said former DeKalb County District Attorney J. Tom Morgan.

"I don't see any middle ground — he intentionally murdered a child or it's a horrible tragedy," said Morgan, now a defense lawyer. "If they show premeditation, that he intentionally killed that child, then (Cobb District Attorney) Vic Reynolds can do nothing less than seek the death penalty."

And that would present another challenge for the state. Could they prove that Harris — who, according to friends and family, was a doting dad — is a cold-hearted killer willing to let his son suffer one of the worst deaths imaginable?

"You'd almost have to show he was mentally ill, completely devoid of empathy," said Decatur defense lawyer Bob Rubin. "Proving this was a purposeful act is full of hurdles, unless there's a smoking gun out there."

So far, the prosecution's case is almost completely circumstantial, although that's not unusual, said Gwinnett defense attorney Christine Koehler.

"If you push, push and push and then some of this stuff isn't proven, that can really end up making the prosecution look bad," she said, adding that, if Harris goes to trial, a change of venue is almost inevitable.

Ironically, the prosecution's testimony about Harris' sexting habits — alleging he was engaged in up to six different illicit chats with women he met online on the day of his son's death — may end up helping the defense.

"They could argue that the sexting, something he was apparently very heavily involved in, was a distraction," Rubin said. "Clearly, he wasn't thinking about his son that day because he was so obsessed with women."

Ultimately, the most important part of the trial may well be picking a jury. Finding open-minded jurors won't be easy, said Cagle, who's been advising lawyers through the process for 20 years.

In this case, the defense will be looking for a mix of skeptics who tend to distrust the herd mentality and optimists who simply can't fathom someone subjecting their child to such a horrific death, Cagle said.

Of course, the prosecution is still building its case; Cobb Police Detective Phil Stoddard said investigators have just "scratched the surface."

Sadow said he believes the defense faces an uphill battle.

Forgetting your child is in his car seat less than five minutes after putting him there will be a tough sell, he said. And Harris' admission that, five days before his son's death, he watched an online video about what happens to a child when left inside a hot car may prove too coincidental for jurors to accept.

"All the circumstances in this case, considered in their totality, don't leave much room for maneuvering," Sadow said.
http://news.msn.com/crime-justice/public-may-have-turned-but-jurists-see-holes-in-case-against-georgia-dad
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  0  
Reply Thu 17 Jul, 2014 08:20 pm
@BillRM,
Oh by the way my opinion at the moment is that he is likely guilt but if so his actions does not made sense when it come to the internet and his computers.
0 Replies
 
FOUND SOUL
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jul, 2014 09:48 pm
@BillRM,
Quote:
An yes we both know that he was sexing at the same time his child was dying however the question is still is did he know his child was in the car at the time or not!!!!!

That is what a jury need to decided and not the opinion of a police detective.



Quote:
Oh by the way my opinion at the moment is that he is likely guilt


Smile
0 Replies
 
Wilso
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jul, 2014 10:06 pm
There's a been a couple of similar cases to this in a couple of countries in the last few years. I keep trying to think of a situation where I could have forgotten that one of my children was asleep in the car while I've been in it. I just can't do it. I'm not suggesting that it doesn't happen, but anyone that ******* stupid should never have had kids in the first place.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jul, 2014 01:43 am
@firefly,
firefly wrote:
I've never accidently left a very young child or a pet in a car, and I definitely would never do so intentionally, but I once locked my car keys in the car while they were still in the ignition, and I once accidently locked my handbag, car keys inside of it, on the front seat of my car. So that sort of absentmindedness and memory lapse can happen. But, when I left my handbag, I became aware of it almost immediately, even though I had to wait for a locksmith before I could retrieve it.


I'm really absent minded, quite often I walk into a room and forget what it is I went in there for, it's not until I sit back down that I remember. This isn't a recent development, I've always been like this.

Never with small children, when my kids were that age I would fret constantly when I left them unattended. While going to pay for petrol I would wave and smile, just to let them know I wasn't going anywhere. I find it very hard to understand how any parent can forget they have a small child with them. as pointed out, I'm very forgetful, and I've never done it.
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  0  
Reply Fri 18 Jul, 2014 04:27 am
@Wilso,
Quote:
I'm not suggesting that it doesn't happen, but anyone that ******* stupid should never have had kids in the first place.


Well I thanks god had never also forgotten either children or pets in a car but I do not know if you can call those who had done so stupid.

If you have a routine that you have done a million times on auto pilot without a child along, I can see such a happening even if you can not and that have nothing to do with being stupid.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jul, 2014 05:29 am
@Wilso,
How can loving, attentive parents have such an incomprehensible lapse of memory? To forget a child and leave him or her all day in a hot car seems unfathomable and, to many, unacceptable. It does seem unfathomable but what makes you so much more superior than other people? These are not stupid people as you state, more a result of a normal function of the human brain and how it is wired.

Forgotten Baby Syndrome (FBS) is a failure of prospective memory, which refers to the planning and execution of an action in the future. Prospective memory is processed by two brain structures: The hippocampus, which stores new information, and the prefrontal cortex, which enables us to plan for the future. It is the hippocampus that processes that a child is in the car, while the prefrontal cortex enables a parent to plan the route, including a change in plans to go to daycare rather than straight to work.

FBS is a clash between prospective memory and habit memory. Habit-based memories enables people to drive to work in “auto-pilot” mode. The prospective and habit brain memory systems compete against each other on a regular basis. For example, a person intends to stop at the store on the way home from work but drives right past the store to arrive home without groceries.

Cases studied follow a similar pattern. On the day of the tragedy, the parent follows a well-traveled route, one that rarely or inconsistently includes transporting the child. FBS defies the simple explanation of poor parenting, having been committed by people in all walks of society, from doctors to teachers to construction workers, and by parents and grandparents around the world, including cases in Australia, France and Israel.

So what makes you special that you can overcome this?
Romeo Fabulini
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jul, 2014 06:55 am
A dog was left in a car on a hot day round here a few years ago, it was yapping and seemed a bit distressed, so me and a couple of other people called the cops.
Two turned up but they were a complete washout.
They said "We'll wait to see if the owner comes back" and just hung around looking bored.
I said- "Why don't you smash a window to give the dog some air, i'll back you up and sign a statement saying you were fully justified",
but they mumbled some **** about "We don't have the right to do that" and carried on hanging around.
Eventually the woman owner came running up so i left them to sort it out..
0 Replies
 
Wilso
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jul, 2014 07:12 am
@Linkat,
Linkat wrote:



So what makes you special that you can overcome this?



Not being a neurologist, I don't know. I do know that I never even came close when they were young. Now at 4 and 7, they wouldn't let me.
Wilso
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jul, 2014 07:15 am
I do know that I have experienced the "autopilot" syndrome, and it's something I have worked very hard to remove from my mental make up. EXTREMELY hard. I like awareness.
0 Replies
 
firefly
 
  2  
Reply Fri 18 Jul, 2014 01:03 pm
@Linkat,
Quote:
So what makes you special that you can overcome this?

Because you become aware that Forgotten Baby Syndrome can occur and you take active steps to prevent it from happening--like putting one of your shoes, or your handbag, or your cell phone, or anything else you are not likely to forget, in the back with the baby's car seat--or you put a post-it note on your steering wheel whenever you have the baby in the back--or you have a reminder always dangling from your rear view mirror--you do whatever it takes to make sure you don't forget. And you always check the back seat before you lock the car, whether the baby is there or not, so it becomes automatic.

I can certainly empathize with the heartrending grief and anguish and horrible guilt of a parent who doesn't do those things and accidently kills their baby because it's been forgotten in a hot car. I think some degree of negligence is always involved, because there has been a lapse in attending to the baby's welfare, but not all of these cases should be prosecuted as crimes, and many aren't. But every case we hear about, should be a wakeup call for everyone--don't just rely on your memory.

In the case of Ross Harris, I feel no empathy or sympathy. Whether through gross negligence, or deliberate intent, I think he did cause the death of his child, in a particularly horrible manner, and my feelings are all for the suffering this toddler went through. And, if this was an intentional act, Harris is not going to get an ounce of mercy from a judge or jury, or from the public either--and he deserves none.

Personally, I'm glad he left material on his computer about the types of searches he made, about the YouTube videos he watched, and the articles he read about children and dogs dying in hot cars, about how high the temperature in those cars had to be, and about living a childless life--it all made it a little easier for the police to begin connecting the dots, and to start digging deeper.

I never realized that no one in this country has ever been charged before with intentionally using a hot car to cause their child's death--it is an especially horrendous murder weapon and manner of death, but also a somewhat ingenious one. Just from the probable cause hearing, there is a definite possibility that's what occurred in this case, and that possibility is what is so disturbing--I'd rather not think about a person who could choose, or want, to kill their own child in that particularly horrible cold-blooded way. When I started watching the probable cause hearing, I was hoping the police didn't have much, that this could also be viewed just as easily as an accidental death due to a memory lapse or thoughtlessness. By the time it ended, I really felt ill, because the state is building a fairly good case against Harris

I think this case may never get to trial. My hunch is that, if the defense attorney can wangle any sort of plea deal for him, he's going to advise him to take it. And the same will be true for his wife if she was involved at all, or had reason to know what he planned to do. Defending them is going to be next to impossible unless the state makes very big blunder. Time will tell...





JTT
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Jul, 2014 09:10 am
@firefly,
The deeply caring firefly, who can't seem to muster any compassion for the millions of children the USA does much worse things to.
BillRM
 
  0  
Reply Sat 19 Jul, 2014 10:00 am
@JTT,
Quote:
The deeply caring firefly, who can't seem to muster any compassion for the millions of children the USA does much worse things to.


LOL I un-ignore your posting with the idea that there is no way that you could find a tie in with your hates of the US and therefore your posting might be worth reading but I was wrong,
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Jul, 2014 10:02 am
@BillRM,
Bill, why do y'all go to such lengths to illustrate what intellectual cowards you are.
0 Replies
 
Wilso
 
  3  
Reply Sat 19 Jul, 2014 09:00 pm
@BillRM,
I don't need to un ignore to know that in his next post he just called you a liar, or a coward, or both. Have learnt my lesson with that fuckwit. He's a troll not worth the effort.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Jul, 2014 05:41 am
@Wilso,
Wilso wrote:

Linkat wrote:



So what makes you special that you can overcome this?



Not being a neurologist, I don't know. I do know that I never even came close when they were young. Now at 4 and 7, they wouldn't let me.


Neither did I - and my kids are now 11 and 15. Though after reading story after story of this occuring I was terrified at the thought of that ever happening to me -- did this end up causing me never to do so --- not sure, just that I know I am no more intelligent than those that it has happened to.

I did, once the kids were beyond infant, tell them to yell and scream if I did not get them out of the car (and also if I forgot to buckle them in).
0 Replies
 
firefly
 
  2  
Reply Thu 4 Sep, 2014 12:32 pm
Quote:
Dad indicted on murder charges in son's hot car death
By Eliott C. McLaughlin, Greg Botelho and Devon M. Sayers, CNN
Thu September 4, 2014

Marietta, Georgia (CNN) -- The Georgia dad whose toddler son died after being left all day in a hot car was indicted by a grand jury Thursday on eight counts, including malice murder and two counts of felony murder.

The malice murder charge alleges that Justin Ross Harris, who has claimed his son's death was an accident, premeditated the child's killing.

The other five charges are: first-degree cruelty to children, second-degree cruelty to children, criminal attempt to commit a felony (sexual exploitation of a minor) and two counts of dissemination of harmful material to minors.

According to the indictment, the grand jury found that on June 18, Harris "did unlawfully, and with malice aforethought, cause the death of Cooper Harris ... by placing said Cooper Harris into a child car seat and leaving him alone in a hot motor vehicle."

The two felony murder charges allege that Harris killed his 22-month-old son while committing the first- and second-degree felonies of cruelty to children. One count states he killed Cooper "maliciously," while the other felony murder count says Harris killed him "with criminal negligence."

Harris faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison if convicted on any of the murder charges, while a guilty verdict for the malice murder count could make him eligible for the death penalty.

By leaving Cooper in the car, Harris caused the boy "cruel and excessive physical pain," the cruelty to children charges allege.

The criminal attempt to commit a felony and dissemination of harmful materials charges are not related directly to Cooper's death. They involve allegations that Harris requested a nude photo of a minor's genitalia and sent the same minor descriptions of "sexual excitement and sexual conduct," according to the indictment.

A Cobb County detective testified at an earlier probable cause hearing that while Cooper was in the car at his father's workplace, Harris was sexting with numerous women and sent one of them, who was underage, a photo of his erect penis...

http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/04/justice/hot-car-death-ross-harris-grand-jury/
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Thu 4 Sep, 2014 12:39 pm
@firefly,
It's amazing to think that if he'd only done a couple of things differently that he would have gotten away with it.

I'm sure he relied on the public's assumption that these car deaths are always accidents because nobody could be that cruel.

I think he's guilty but I'm willing to wait to see how the trial spins and what the law has to say.
 

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