Mother of child killed in hot car hires attorney, leaves state

ATLANTA -- Leanna Harris, the mother of the 22-month boy killed after being left in a hot car for hours, has hired Lawrence Zimmerman to represent her and has left the state.

Cobb County Police have not charged Harris, or even named her as a suspect in her son's death. But attorney Ed Garland says with her husband, Ross, charged with murder and the community overwhelmingly suspicious about her involvement, it makes sense.

"Any word that comes out of her mouth can be misconstrued," said Garland. "So she just needs someone to hold her hand and to stand between her and the press and anything else and the kooks that come out of the woodwork," he added.

As her husband awaits trial on murder and second-degree child cruelty charges, Leanna Harris and her mother went to their home in Alabama on Thursday. (Watch footage below)

Zimmerman commented several times on the case as a legal analyst for 11Alive News. Now that he represents Harris, he says commenting on the case outside of his new duties, would be a conflict of interest.

But the day after Ross Harris was charged with murder, Zimmerman questioned the charges against him.

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"This man is behind bars and they're saying it's willful... It sounds like it may be cruelty in the second degree possibly if at all," said Zimmerman.

During the probable cause hearing he downplayed the importance of testimony regarding Ross Harris' "double life." An investigator with Cobb County Police testified Harris had been sexting at work with six different women while his son was outside in the car dying. The investigator also said Harris had visited several internet sites related to living a child free life and how to survive prison.

RELATED | Toxicology results for Cooper Harris released
RELATED | Leana Harris visits Cobb County Jail

"We don't know if he had any conversations with anybody. If he was in a chat room saying I want to get rid of my wife, I want to get rid of my child," said Zimmerman.

Now, Zimmerman can make that case with the district attorney on behalf of her and her husband.

"The attorney could present information to the investigators favorable to her husband but in no way could it be used against her," explained Garland.

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