Justin Ross Harris admitted to his many mistress hopefuls that he “hated being married with kids.” As fate with have it, he got his wish to be relieved of his domestic troubles on the morning of June 18, 2014 but it probably wasn’t the exit he was looking for.
Harris, 34, stands accused of intentionally leaving his 22-month-old child, Cooper, in a sweltering hot car, leaving him to perish in the most inhumane of ways, while he sat in a Chik-Fil-A and sexted with reportedly up to six women at the same time. As a self-admitted sex addict, prosecutors are also saying he engaged in lewd behavior with minors over the course of his haphazard marriage.
Harris left Cooper in a rear-facing car seat in the back of his Hyundai Tucson while he spent the day at work as a Web developer for Atlanta-based Home Depot. He normally dropped the boy off at day care.
The temperature topped 92 that day, which can make the heat inside a closed vehicle soar past 100 degrees quickly, and police testified during Harris’ probable cause hearing that Cooper spent at least seven hours in the car.
Cobb County police Detective Phil Stoddard has taken the stand in the past to say that Harris was sexting minors while Cooper was in the car that day. At Monday’s hearing on separating the charges, he testified that Harris commented on the morning of Cooper’s death, via the anonymous messaging app, Whisper, “I miss having time to myself and going out with friends.”
Stoddard shared snippets of his interviews with three of the minors. According to the detective, Harris spoke to six women or girls on the day Cooper died.
Harris faces charges of malice murder, two counts of felony murder, first-degree cruelty to children, second-degree cruelty to children, criminal attempt to commit a felony (sexual exploitation of a minor) and two counts of dissemination of harmful material to minors.
According to the indictment against Harris, the sexual exploitation and dissemination of harmful material charges involve Harris requesting a nude photo of a minor’s genitalia and sending her descriptions of “sexual excitement and sexual conduct.” Stoddard says Harris also sent one girl a photo of his erect penis.
Stoddard and Kilgore concurred that Harris requested images of “CD’s” genitalia on three occasions, once in March 2014, once in May 2014 and on the day Cooper died. Stoddard also outlined a graphic communication in which Harris gave “CD” advice about her juvenile boyfriend, a line of testimony to which the defense objected, accusing prosecutors of showing off for the media on hand.
Grilled during cross-examination on whether police had charged Harris with child pornography, Stoddard said no but added that investigators found evidence of child porn on his phone via Whisper, where he used the pseudonym, “Morgan Freeman’s penis.”
Life comes at you fast.