Legal Analyst Coffey: Murder Charge Warranted in Ga. Boy's Death

Thursday, 03 Jul 2014 07:10 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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The appalling case of the Georgia boy who died after being left by his father in a hot car for seven hours defies all logic — but there's no doubt it deserves a criminal trial, veteran legal analyst Kendall Coffey says.

"It's going to trial on the theory of murder,'' Coffey told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV Thursday.

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"The police are actively exploring the theory — as shocking as it seems, impossible as it seems to any parent that this was intentional.

"It's really hard to understand how it could be otherwise, despite our instincts that, of course, no parent would ever want to harm a child.''

Justin Ross Harris, 33, is charged with killing his infant son Cooper by leaving him inside a sweltering car all day.

At a court hearing Thursday, a detective testified that Harris had been sending graphic "sext'' messages to numerous women — including a teenage girl — in the hours before he found the boy dead, ABC News reports.

Cobb County Detective Phil Stoddard also testified how Harris had searched for articles on the Web on life without children, and had viewed videos depicting people dying.

"You've had tragically close to 40 on the average of so-called hot car deaths a year of small children and that in itself is sort of a mind boggling fact,'' said Coffey, a founding partner of Coffey Burlington, PL, in Miami.

"But usually it's nothing like seven hours, which is a long time and tragically, usually when it happens, its parents who are … out of it because of drugs or severe alcohol hangover and they pass out.

"There's at least something that tells you how it's possible that a parent could forget all about their child in a car for hours. Here, we don't have a logical explanation.''

Judge Frank Cox has ordered Harris held without bail.

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