ATLANTA — A Cobb County father who was convicted of murder for leaving his 22-month-old son inside a car for hours on a hot day, resulting in the child's death in 2014, will have his appeal heard next week by the Georgia Supreme Court.
The case against Justin Ross Harris back in 2016 gained national notoriety.
The father was supposed to have dropped his son Cooper at day care before going to work on June 18, 2014. Instead he arrived at the Home Depot office in Vinings and went to work, leaving the child in the car for roughly seven hours in the Georgia summer heat.
Harris was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Throughout the trial he maintained it was a tragic accident.
In addition to a conviction on murder and child cruelty charges, Harris was convicted on multiple charges of dissemination of harmful materials to minors related to sexting with underage girls.
According to an overview of the case provided by the Georgia Supreme Court, lawyers for Harris are arguing the trial court made "errors related to its evidentiary decisions."
Those include: "allowing state prosecutors to present evidence of prior bad acts, such as marital infidelity and numerous online sexual conversations, requiring disclosure of a defense expert’s notes, allowing the introduction of a 3-D animation, and limiting the cross examination of three witnesses for the state: two detectives and a computer expert."
The state, meanwhile, "contends that the evidence at trial was properly admitted and sufficient to allow a jury to reject Harris’ defense that his son’s death was an accident."
A Cobb County judge denied Harris a new trial in May 2021. The state Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case on Tuesday, Jan. 18.