Ross Harris indicted for murder in son's hot car death

COBB COUNTY, Ga. -- A Cobb County grand jury has indicted Justin Ross Harris in the hot car death of his 22-month-old son.

The indictments were delivered to a judge at 10:51 Thursday morning.

READ THE INDICTMENT: Full 8 count murder indictment against Justin Ross Harris

Harris faces eight counts: malice murder, two counts of felony murder, cruelty to children in the 1st degree, cruelty to children in the 2nd degree, criminal attempt to commit felony exploitation of children, and two counts of dissemination of harmful material to minors.

Harris was arrested after his 22-month-old son Cooper was found dead in the back seat of a hot car on June 18. He was denied bond at a probable cause hearing, where investigators testified he sexted several women while Cooper died in the SUV parked outside his father's Home Depot office. Home Depot has since terminated Harris.

Three of the charges are related to alleged online sex chats with an underage girl, including sending her nude photos, for months leading up to the day Cooper died.

Harris, 33, has pleaded not guilty to charges of felony murder and second-degree child cruelty. He claimed he forgot to drop his son off at daycare the morning the boy died.

Cobb County District Attorney Vic Reynolds made brief comments to the media on Thursday afternoon. He said the indictment was the first step in a long process and that he has not ruled out seeking the death penalty against Harris. That decision will be made before Harris' next arraignment date, which is expected to be in two or three weeks. (WATCH REYNOLDS' FULL STATEMENT HERE)

Prosecutors have left the door open to file charges against someone else, possibly Harris' wife Leanna, who has retained an attorney.

Harris' attorney, Maddox Kilgore, said on Thursday afternoon that the death of Cooper was an accident. He said that Harris is doing "terrible" and has lost everything. He said that the trial will show that Cooper's death was a "gut-wrenching" accident, but that Ross did not mean to harm his son. (WATCH THE FULL STATEMENT HERE)

Leanna Harris has continued to support her husband. She insists that he did not intentionally harm their son. Her attorney, Lawrence Zimmerman, told 11Alive that he was disappointed to hear that prosecutors are still even considering pressing charges against Leanna Harris.

"I hope by now he would know the case enough to not charge my client, and clear her name, in the public domain, of any wrongdoing," Zimmerman said.


More Coverage of Ross Harris Hot Car Death Case:
- PHOTOS: Ross Harris appears in court for first time
- Toddler's mother not a suspect in hot car death
- Ex-inmate: Ross Harris 'showed no emotion' in jail
- PayPal refunds donors who gave to Ross Harris

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