MARIETTA, Ga. — Justin Ross Harris, the father whom authorities accuse of deliberately killing his toddler son by leaving him in the scorching hot SUV for hours while he went to work at Home Depot pleaded not guilty to murder.
By waiving his scheduled court appearance, 11 Alive reports, Harris effectively pleaded not guilty. He is accused of multiple felonies including: malice murder, two counts of felony murder, cruelty to children in the 1st degree, cruelty to children in the 2nd degree, criminal attempt to commit felony exploitation of children, and two counts of dissemination of harmful material to minors.
Harris is also being charged with three crimes related to alleged online sex chats with an underage girl, including sending her nude photos — including conducting such activities on the day his 22-month-old child died in the car while he worked.
Cooper Harris was found unconscious and unresponsive in the back of Justin Ross Harris’ vehicle on June 18. The father claimed that he forgot to drop his son off at daycare on the day in question, despite stopping to get something to eat just minutes before. Temperatures inside the car on that late spring day reached in access of 100 degrees, causing the child to suffer from hyperthermia.
Harris’ wife, Leanna, was not found culpable in the child’s death, despite the fact investigators said they found that she allegedly researched child death’s in hot cars in the weeks leading up to his death, citing that there was insufficient evidence to charge her.