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No decision yet in new Ross Harris hot car murder trial case

Lawyers for the Cobb county father convicted in 2016 for the hot-car death of his 22-month-old son are trying to get him a new trial.

ATLANTA — Court adjourned Tuesday without a decision, after a second straight day of new hearings for Justin Ross Harris.

Attorneys for the Cobb County man argued for a new trial in the hot-car murder case involving his 22-month-old son.

In the original 2016 trial, which made national headlines, Harris was convicted of murdering little Cooper Harris by leaving him in his rear-facing car seat in an SUV at a Vinings office complex on June 18, 2014.

On that day, Cooper's lifeless body was found in the car seat, but his father did not call for help until about seven hours later, according to police. 

An investigation found that father and son went to breakfast before Ross Harris parked his SUV and went to work at the Home Depot offices in Vinings.  He was supposed to have dropped his son off at daycare before going to work.

RELATED: Father in notorious 2014 hot car death back in court hoping for new trial

According to evidence presented in court, Harris entered the SUV around lunchtime to drop off some bulbs, but it was not known if he noticed his son inside the vehicle at the time, according to police. 

Later that afternoon, Harris drove toward a local movie theater, but stopped and called authorities about his son, police said.

The autopsy report indicated the child's cause of death was hyperthermia. Harris claimed his son's death was an accident, and still maintains his innocence.

Defense lawyers began to argue for a new trial on Monday, claiming evidence during the original trial was wrongly admitted, and that there were questions not permitted during the original trial. 

RELATED: 'Fatal Distraction': Ross Harris documentary claims untold story about convicted father

The original 2016 trial was moved from Cobb County to Brunswick by Superior Court Judge Mary Staley Clark, after she cited pretrial publicity in the Atlanta area. 

Defense lawyers argued that while Harris was, indeed, responsible for little Cooper's death, it was a tragic accident -- one that claims the lives of an average of 38 children per year, according to data from the National Safety Council

Prosecutors presented evidence during the original trial that said that Harris led a double life filled with sex with prostitutes and women he met online, and that he had intentionally killed little Cooper so he would be free of his responsibilities in order to pursue that life. 

During the original trial, Harris was also found guilty of sexual exploitation of children and dissemination of harmful materials related to sexting underage girls. 

Following Tuesday's hearing, court was adjourned. 

The judge gave the state until Dec. 23 to research the issue and submit an argument. The defense will have until Jan. 8 to submit a response to the state's argument. 

Following this, both sides will draft and submit proposed orders to the judge by Jan. 15. After receiving the proposed orders, the judge will ultimately sign an order granting or denying the motion for a new trial in the case. 


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