Former prosecutor provides insight into Ross Harris hearing

ATLANTA -- Probable cause hearings are usually pretty simple, 15-minutes and out.

But on Thursday, for Justin Ross Harris, that's not likely to happen.

This is a very unusual case of legal extremes. That's because his son Cooper's death was either a terrible and tragic accident or a well-choreographed murder whose brutality is almost unthinkable.

RELATED: Dad charged in son's hot car death pleads not guilty

"This is probably the most bizarre case I have ever seen, not only Cobb County, but anywhere I have ever worked," said Phil Holloway.

And that's saying a lot for Holloway, a criminal defense attorney, who is also a former cop and a former prosecutor with Cobb County. He says if Harris can't explain several key questions in the toddler's death, he could be fighting for his life.

WARRANT: Read the criminal warrant for Justin Harris

"The implication potentially is that it was premeditated, that it was deliberated and that it was done with malice," said Holloway. "And if that's the case, you'll see an upgrade in the charge; if that's the case, you'll see all options on the table, even potentially the death penalty."

At the probable cause hearing, the DA will bring the lead investigator to the stand to map out the bare bones of the case. But the defense will likely push for the entire anatomy -- all the evidence.

"A lot of time defense lawyers use this, not only for the purpose of probable cause, but they use it to find out what information the police have: What do I need to defend against? How do I prepare for the defense?" explained Holloway. "So they're going to try to find out as much as they possibly can."

RELATED: Police: Cooper Harris' mom also researched hot car deaths

Holloway adds that it is likely more of what Harris' wife Leanna also told police will be revealed, including the timing of the couple's alleged research into hot car child deaths.

"What's been released publicly through search warrants suggest that the searches were located in the browser's recent search history," said Holloway. "So, that very well may come out tomorrow."

Thursday is also a bond hearing in the case, so there could be additional witnesses on deck for that as well.

But Holloway says bond for a murder charge in Cobb County is very unlikely. He believes those are the exact odds tomorrow as well.

Very unlikely.


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