COBB COUNTY, Ga. – Prosecutors say a Cobb County father sent explicit messages to numerous women on the day that his 22-month-old son died in a hot car.
A judge denied bond for Justin Ross Harris on Thursday.Harris is facing murder and child cruelty charges in the June 18 death of Cooper Harris.
Harris maintains that he forgot to drop his son off at daycare before heading to work.
In the lengthy probable cause hearing, Cobb County detective Phil Stoddard said Harris was having conversations with up to six women online. One girl was as young as 16, Stoddard said.
Harris told the women that he was cheating and that his wife knew about it, Stoddard said. Prosecutors say Harris sent and received explicit pictures.
Prosecutors said that the messages could show that Harris desired to live a child-free lifestyle.
During a conversation with one woman on June 5, Stoddard testified one of the women messaging Ross asked, "Do you have a conscience?" to which Harris replied, "Nope."
Harris' defense team argued that the messages have no relevance on the case. Defense attorney Maddox Kilgore said that the only purpose of bringing the messages up was to shame Harris.
The prosecution also claimed that Harris had previously researched hot car deaths online and had viewed websites for people who prefer to live child-free. He had also allegedly searched "how to survive in prison."
Harris had also viewed topics on Reddit showing deaths, Stoddard testified.
Investigators also said that Harris had watched a viral video in which a veterinarian demonstrated the effects of being trapped inside a hot car. Harris watched that video twice on June 14 – four days before his son's death – according to authorities.
The defense noted that Georgia's governor has launched a recent campaign designed to prevent hot car deaths.
Friends and co-workers of Harris described him as loving father.