A Georgia man accused of intentionally leaving his toddler son in a hot car to die wanted to "escape from one life into another," a prosecutors charged as the murder trial started Monday. Justin Ross Harris allegedly did not want to be burdened with the responsibilities of parenthood and instead sought to have sexual relations with young women and prostitutes, CBS News reported.
Harris knew his 22-month-old son — who died from hyperthermia — was in the back seat of his SUV in 2014 on a day where temperatures were nearly 90 degrees, prosecutors believe. They plan to present evidence proving that the 35-year-old man had affairs outside of his marriage, according to CNN. Harris also searched websites that promoted a child-free lifestyle.
Meanwhile, Harris’ attorneys insisted that the death was an accident, stating that prior to the boy’s death, his father spent the morning with him watching cartoons and treated the boy to breakfast at Chick-fil-A. After strapping the toddler in and giving him a kiss, he maintains he didn't drop the child at daycare and headed to work because he forgot he was in the back seat.
Harris intentionally killed his son “in one of the most unimaginable, horrible ways,” and showed little emotion afterward, Cobb County prosecutor Chuck Boring told the court. “The facts of this case only make sense if the defendant had planned on intentionally killing his son.”
On the day the boy died, Harris sent more than 30 text messages "mostly to women, mostly about sex," Boring added.
Prosecutors presented their case outline to the jury Monday afternoon and Harris’ attorneys are expected to have their turn Tuesday morning. If convicted of murder, Harris faces life in prison. Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty.