The judge in the hot car death trial on Monday denied a defense motion to block the testimony of a prostitute who said she was “90 percent” certain Justin Ross Harris was one of her clients.
The prostitute said the former Home Depot web developer paid $125 for a 30-minute session, which took place less than three weeks before Harris’ 22-month-old son was found dead inside a hot SUV. She told a Cobb police detective that she remembered Harris as “dumpy” with a “large head,” adding that he stood out because most of her customers are African-American.
Police had tracked down the witness from three phone calls Harris allegedly placed from his work cell phone. The defense had argued that the woman’s identification was obtained under the threat of arrest, which Cobb police denied.
Defense attorney Maddox Kilgore questioned the woman’s veracity, saying she had been arrested on marijuana charges before and after the September 2014 interview with police.
“She seemed to be very clear and lucid,” Cobb Police Det. Ralph Escamillo testified.
Opening statements will follow a break for lunch around 1 p.m.
Return for updates.
You can follow the latest developments in the case on Twitter at @AJCBreakdown and at AJC.com. AJC reporters Christian Boone (@reporterJCB) and Bill Rankin (@ajccourts) will be in Brunswick for the duration of the trial.
Harris is also the subject of the second season of the AJC’s podcast series “Breakdown,” which will follow the trial’s developments.