Jury selection is underway for a Georgia man accused of intentionally leaving his toddler son in a hot car while working a shift at Home Depot, People reported Monday. Justin Ross Harris was charged with murder more than two years ago in the death of his 22-month-old son.
The case is expected to be tried in Brunswick, Georgia, at the Glynn County Courthouse, which is more than 275 miles away from where the alleged crime was originally committed. This marks the second time that Harris’ lawyers have gone through the process to have the venue changed. Back in April, attorneys questioned potential jurors but later filed a motion arguing that an impartial jury could not be selected for that county.
Cooper Harris died after being left in the backseat of his father’s car during a day in which temperatures were nearly 90 degrees. Justin Ross Harris arrived to work June 18, 2014 at 9:25 a.m. with his son in the backseat of his vehicle. However, he told authorities he did not realize that the boy was still back there until after 4 p.m. that day. The father was ultimately arrested at 10 p.m. that evening.
The autopsy revealed Cooper Harris died from hyperthermia. The elder Harris received an eight-count indictment that included malice murder, two counts of felony murder and cruelty to children in the first degree. Some of the charges stemmed from his apparent sexual text messages to underage girls. Prosecutors believe he was having as many as six conversations with those females the day of his son’s death.
While Harris’ wife, Leanna, has stood by his side following their son’s death, she filed for divorce earlier this year and is scheduled to testify in court. The trial is expected to last several weeks. Harris could be sentenced to life in prison if found guilty.