The Georgia Supreme Court has overturned a murder conviction against Justin Ross Harris, the father of a 22-month-old who died after being left in a hot car for seven hours in 2014, the Daily Mail reported.
In its decision, the court said the original jury was shown "extremely and unfairly prejudicial" evidence against Harris, including the 41-year-old's frequent affairs throughout his decade-long marriage.
Harris was convicted for one affair involving sex crimes perpetrated on a 16-year-old girl. Unlike his murder charge, convictions related to that incident remain upheld.
However, the court affirmed that he is eligible for a new trial on murder and child cruelty charges. Before the overturning, he was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.
The latest development continues the tragic saga surrounding the death of Cooper Harris, who was left in a hot car while the weather reached the high 80s on June 18, 2014.
Harris told police at the time that he had forgotten to drop his son off at daycare before driving to his job at Home Depot in Atlanta.
Attorney Lawrence Zimmerman, who represents Harris' ex-wife and Cooper's mother, Leanna Harris Taylor, told ABC's WSB-TV 2 that the ruling was "vindication" for the family.
"This is vindication for, obviously, Ross Harris and really vindication for my client Leanna and their son Cooper, that his memory shouldn't be that his father intentionally left him to die in a hot car, and we've all known that since Day 1," Zimmerman said.
"We texted, talked a little bit. It just brings back terrible memories and tragedy really," the lawyer added. "She also doesn't want someone to sit in prison or be convicted of something that she knows they didn't do intentionally."
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