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Son's vehicle heat-stroke death: Justin Ross Harris charged with felony murder

Justin Ross Harris
Justin Ross Harris
Cobb County Sheriff Department

Justin Ross Harris is now charged with his son’s death. Harris is the Georgia father who left his 22-month-old son Cooper inside a mini-SUV for many hours on an extremely hot day. After an outpouring of sympathy for the father in thinking that the incident was an honest and tragic error, police now adamantly disagree with the notion that the incident was an accident. Though the masses believe the father and family have suffered enough with the death of Cooper, authorities have heightened the charges against the 33-year-old father of the boy, according to an ABC News report on Tuesday.

As the story was revealed, Harris buckled his son into his car seat on Wednesday morning. The father was supposed to stop at Cooper’s daycare facility and drop the boy off for the day. However, he drove to his job instead. He drove to a corporate office of Home Depot near Atlanta, Georgia where he works as a web site developer. Harris claims that he totally forgot to drop his son off at the day care facility.

After many hours had gone by, Harris was driving home for the night when he reportedly noticed his son still in the back seat of his vehicle. It was then that he stopped at a shopping center parking lot and, according to witnesses, rushed to save the boy’s life. One witness said that the father kept saying, “What have I done? What have I done?” The witness says that Harris laid his son on the ground and started doing CPR in an effort to resuscitate him. The child wasn’t responding to the father’s efforts.

Sgt. Dana Pierce with the Cobb County Police Department said that says that, for now, the charges against Harris stand. According to USA Today, the new arrest warrant drops the child cruelty charge from first degree to second degree which may indicate that no criminal intent was found. The warrant asserts that Harris placed the child in his car in the morning, they stopped for breakfast, and Harris went to work.

It is reported that Harris then returned to his car mid-day and reached through the driver’s side door a put something inside the car. Apparently, he did not notice the boy was still in the vehicle at that time. The official cause of death has not been released via the autopsy report. The father is still in jail and will remain there without bond until a hearing on July 3.