Murder conviction overturned in Georgia hot car death case
Added 06-22-22 12:11:01pm EST - “Georgia's highest court on Wednesday overturned the murder and child cruelty convictions against a man whose toddler son died after he left him in a hot car for hours, saying the jury saw evidence that was "extremely and unfairly…” - News.yahoo.com
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ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia's highest court on Wednesday overturned the murder and child cruelty convictions against a man whose toddler son died after he left him in a hot car for hours, saying the jury saw evidence that was “extremely and unfairly prejudicial.”
Justin Ross Harris, 41, was convicted in November 2016 on eight counts including malice murder in the death of his 22-month-old son, Cooper. A judge sentenced him to life without parole as well as 32 more years in prison for other crimes.
All of the Georgia Supreme Court justices agreed that there was sufficient evidence to support Harris' convictions, but the 134-page majority opinion written by Chief Justice David Nahmias says that much of the evidence having to do with Harris' sexual activities shouldn't have been admitted and may have improperly influenced the jury. The ruling means that Harris is entitled to a new trial on the murder and child cruelty charges against him.
The high court upheld Harris’ convictions on three sex crimes committed against a 16-year-old girl that Harris had not appealed. He received a total of 12 years in prison for those crimes.
The Cobb County District Attorney's office plans to file a motion for reconsideration in the case, according to an emailed statement. A lawyer for Harris did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.
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