Friday, July 04, 2014

Dad was sexting while kid was dying in car

I mentioned the Georgia dad who left his kid in the car, and now he faces the death penalty:
(CNN) -- Murder and child cruelty charges against a father whose son died after being left in a car will go to a grand jury after a Cobb County judge found probable cause for the charges Thursday.

Justin Ross Harris was denied bail.

He messaged six women, sending and receiving explicit texts -- some including nude images -- from work while his 22-month-old was dying in a hot car, a detective testified in the hearing.

Harris' attorney repeatedly objected to Cobb County, Georgia, police Detective Phil Stoddard's testimony regarding Harris sexting the women -- one of whom was 17 -- but the judge allowed it because it was a probable cause hearing.

In addition to the charges he faces in connection with his son's death, Harris may be charged with felony sexual exploitation of a minor and misdemeanor illegal contact with a minor, Stoddard said.

A prosecutor insisted that the testimony helped portray the defendant's state of mind and spoke to the negligence angle and helped establish motive, as his wife told police she and Harris were having "intimacy problems," according to the detective.
I watched part of the hearing on TV, and the prosecution tried to turn Harris into the new Scott Peterson.

There is sure a rush to judgment here. A TV commentator suggested prosecuting his wife also, because she was afraid that her husband might leave the kid in the car, and because she looked cold and emotionless as she chewed gum in court.

I do not see any likelihood of murder here. Negligence, yes, but not deliberate murder.

Even smart people do dumb things every day. There are millions of parents who drop their kids off at day care every day. Some are going to forget. That seems a lot more plausible than murder.

Peterson carefully planned his murder. There is very little evidence that Harris planned anything.

I am sure the prosecutors have put the pressure on the wife. They probably demanded examples of strife within the marriage, how the kid was burdensome, and hints of anything that might be used against him. They probably threatened her with being charged as a co-conspirator if she does not cooperate. It is to her credit that she is sticking with her man, so far. With her husband behind bars without bail, and everyone telling her that he is a cheater for sexting, it will be interesting to see if she remains faithful.

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