USA Today reported on the Cobb County, Georgia, hot car death of 22-month-old Cooper Harris that on July 9, Leanna Harris, mother of the victim appeared at the Cobb County Jail in an attempt to visit Justin Ross Harris. As part of standard protocol for inmate visiting, Leanna Harris also succumbed to being fingerprinted and photographed during her reported 36-minute stay. Just one day after submitting to that fingerprint submission, HLN reports on July 10 that Leanna Harris has retained a criminal defense lawyer Lawrence Zimmerman.
Will new fingerprint evidence come to light in the hot car death case of Cooper Harris?
Is the next news on this case going to be about an immunity slash plea deal such as in the case of Karla Homolka and Paul Bernardo who were accused of colluding on murder?
Justin Ross Harris has been charged with cruelty to a child and is facing felony murder in connected to the hot car death of his son Cooper. Since that occurred, a wide range of bizarre information on the double life of Justin Ross, and the possibility of premeditation has come out making this one of the most disturbing hot car deaths this summer.
As strange as Justin's behavior has been, he is not the only one that is acting more than a little weird since the death of their child.
Leanna Harris has not been accused of any crimes, is not at the time of press facing any charges, and has never been said to be a person of interest in this case. She has according to law enforcement discussions with Global News been an important part of this "fluid" investigation.
That however also applies to any person with information on this case, from eye witnesses to co-workers, to day care providers and the like. Any person that knows something about this situation, that day, will be considered a part of the investigation.
But there has been a wide body of speculation about the level of involvement of Leanna Harris after some very peculiar statements were made in the aftermath of a double tragedy, that her son had died and that her husband might be criminally responsible. In addition to this double tragedy, Leanna Harris has also discovered that her husband was cheating on her while their 22-month-old son was dying in their car.
She has alleged this is the first time she knew of the cheating, despite the fact that the Justin Ross Harris Skout account he was cheating on her with had been active for over one year.
Leanna is not reacting to all of these events in the way that many people, women in particular, feel that she should be acting. It is not just bizarre behavior, it is suspicious.
After just learning that her only child had died the first thing she reportedly asked her husband was not, "what were you thinking" or "how could you be so stupid" but "Did you say too much?"
She also told people at the funeral for her 22-month-old that it "never crossed her mind" to be upset with Justin Ross Harris.
People have been saying for weeks that she has not been charged in connection to the hot car death of 22-month-old Cooper Harris. Many have speculated for days however, including criminal defense attorney Joey Jackson for HLN, that a co-defendant for Justin Ross Harris may not be too far off.
Criminal defense attorney Lawrence Zimmerman himself has confirmed he is the representation of Leanna Harris at this time. Zimmerman's undergraduate work reportedly comes from the University of Florida, and he studied law at Roger Williams University School of Law in Bristol, RI.
He has been the sole practitioner of his own firm since 1999. Zimmerman is a member in good standing of the Georgia Bar, and received death penalty certification in 2006.
According to his website, "Atlanta Not Guilty" he has spoken at the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers seminar, and is a recurrent speaker for the National Rifle Association (NRA).
A statement on his website reads,
"Federal crimes carry among the harshest sentences found anywhere in the American judicial system. Federal prisons are cold, harsh and unforgiving. Take action to avoid a Federal crimes conviction."
Is it just a coincidence that in the wake of her son's death and her husband's infidelity, Leanna Harris has a lawyer that is death penalty specialized? Perhaps something like what happened for Karla Homolka and Paul Bernardo is in the works. A criminal defense expert told HLN today,
"My prediction is that some kind of charges will be filed against Leanna, or she will cut a deal for providing testimony to avoid them. Her suspicious reactions suggest something much more sinister – namely that this wasn't just criminal negligence but purposeful undertaking, that this hot car was used as an instrument of death. That's what we call first-degree murder. Leanna's testimony, whether or not it is to save her own skin, would be critical to the prosecution to establish this."
When Judge Frank Cox read his very clear thoughts on probable cause in the hot car death of little Cooper Harris, it was painfully obvious he is not taking any of this lightly. He has used the term "death penalty" himself.
According to CNN today, a killing in Georgia qualifies to become considered for the death penalty when the death is considered, "outrageously or wantonly vile, horrible, or inhuman in that it involved torture, depravity of mind, or an aggravated battery to the victim."
Do you think the HLN experts are right?
Will there be the announcement of such a plea deal this week? The Karla Homolka plea deal is considered one of the most controversial plea deals in Canadian history.
Do you think Leanna Harris is working on something like that right now, with her death penalty specialist lawyer?
What do you really think happened between that relationship on June 18 when Cooper Harris suffered a painful hot car death?