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Justin Harris Hot Car Death: Jury Selection for Murder Trial Begins

Image: Justin Harris Hot Car Death: Jury Selection for Murder Trial Begins
Justin Ross Harris sits in Cobb County Magistrate Court in Marietta, Georgia July 3, 2014. A judge denied bail on Thursday for Harris who prosecutors said intentionally left his 22-month-old son strapped inside a hot car to die because he wanted to live a child-free life. (Kelly Huff /Pool/Reuters)

By    |   Monday, 11 Apr 2016 12:41 PM

The murder trial of Justin Ross Harris regarding the hot car death of his 22-month-old son, Cooper, is set to begin with jury selection on Monday in Cobb County, Georgia.

On June 18, 2014, Harris was supposed to drop his son at daycare before going to his job at Home Depot. Instead, the boy spent seven hours strapped in a car seat in the back of the SUV and died of hyperthermia.

The death was called a homicide and gained widespread attention, fueled by Harris' alleged online searches of hot car deaths, among other things, NBC News reported.

Harris allegedly had $4,000 in credit card debt, two life insurance policies on Cooper, had twice watched an online video about what happens to animals in a hot car days before his son’s death, and sent explicit messages to women, including a teen, while his son was trapped in the car.

Ahead of the trial, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution highlighted five things to know about the case: 1) Harris’ sexual exploits have tainted public opinion; 2) His wife Leanna divorced him in February; 3) Friends say he was a good man with quirks; 4) His inconsistent accounts of the day have cast doubt; 5) His legal team and others say it will be difficult to establish intent.

The jury is being sought from a pool of 550 people summoned, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported last week, calling the case “one of the biggest trials in recent Cobb history” and a “spectacle of international proportions.”

The trial could take as long as eight weeks once the jury is selected, the newspaper noted.

Jury selection could take as long as two weeks, WXIA-TV reported.

"Ultimately, [the lawyers] are going to be tasked with finding a jury who can dedicate their entire life to this case for a long period of time," legal analyst Phil Holloway said, according to the station. "We're talking about no social media about the case, no television, no radio, no newspaper. They're going to be isolated from the news for the length of this trial."

Harris was charged with murder the day after Cooper’s death. A Change.org petition asking authorities to drop the case drew 10,000 signatures before being withdrawn, NBC News reported.

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The murder trial of Justin Ross Harris regarding the hot car death of his 22-month-old son, Cooper, is set to begin with jury selection on Monday in Cobb County, Georgia.
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2016-41-11
Monday, 11 Apr 2016 12:41 PM
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