Officer: Harris sounded like "Anchorman" character at scene of hot car death

Ross Harris sobs in court

The jury in the Ross Harris trial received a better idea of what the scene looked like the day 22-month-old Cooper Harris died in his father's hot car. 

Harris is facing various charges, including malice murder, felony murder and cruelty to children, in the June 2014 death of his son. Harris claims the death was a tragic accident.

The trial's first witness, Cobb County police officer Jacquelyn Piper, was also the first person to interact with Harris moments after he discovered Cooper dead. 

When she arrived, she said she saw the 22-month-old child the ground and noticed he was "very pale" and could see the veins in the leg. Piper indicated both signs "usually means someone has died."

The officer continued saying she found Harris' yelling "kind of unusual."  

"The best way I can describe it...If you've ever seen 'Anchorman' and you have Will Ferrell shouting 'I'm in a glass case of emotion'. It's that monotone yelling that seems really forced," Piper said. 

Piper described the scene which developed, from her vantage point, on the afternoon of June 18, 2014: 

  • Harris was on his cell phone and appeared calm and then he started yelling, she explains Harris "unusual yelling" and compared it to Will Ferrell in the the movie "Anchorman."
  • Piper began asking Harris questions, says Harris held up his finger to tell her to wait.
  • Thought Harris did not look as upset as she imagined. 
  • Officer told Harris to get off the phone and apparently Harris advanced towards the officer and they had to contain him.
  • He stepped forward and said “Shut the f*** up, my son just died”.
  • She removed Harris’ phone and she then handed it over to her sergeant.
  • He complained about both the handcuffs being too tight and the patrol car being hot. 
  • Harris' casual conversation in patrol car made Piper uncomfortable, not consistent with someone who just lost a child. 

VIDEO | Officer Piper describing Ross Harris' "unusual yelling"

Following the lunch break, Piper returned to the stand as video footage from her patrol car was shown to the jurors. The video, nearly an hour and a half in length, showed the events leading up to Piper arriving on the scene.

Once she had arrived, the camera captures:

  • Harris pacing back and fourth.
  • Harris and Piper's verbal confrontation.
  • Harris being placed in the back of the patrol car and watching the investigation going on behind the car. 
  • Harris mentioning the how hot the car is. 
  • Piper driving Harris to the jail. 

VIDEO | Ross Harris in the back of Officer Piper's patrol car

PHOTOS | Hot car death trial - Day 2 

Access previous stories and get in-depth analysis on the Ross Harris trial by clicking here. 

Stay updated on the trial by downloading the FREE 11Alive News app now in the iTunes store or on Google Play.

(© 2016 WXIA)


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