Harris would be indicted for Cooper’s murder and other crimes. Because of intense pretrial publicity, the trial was moved from Cobb County to Glynn County in coastal Georgia. The jury in Brunswick would convict Harris of Cooper’s murder and he would be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Before and during the trial, Harris’ defense lawyers said what Harris did was a tragic mistake because he loved his son. They also tried to keep evidence of Harris’ deviant sexual behavior from being presented to the jury, arguing it was unfairly prejudicial. Prosecutors contended it showed Harris’ motive — to life a child-free life so he pursue sexual relations.
Superior Court Judge Mary Staley Clark sided with prosecutors and let it all in. The jury heard days of testimony about the affairs, the graphic texts and the prostitutes.
This became a major thrust of Harris’ appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court in his bid for a new trial. The case was argued this past January and the court released its decision on June 22.
Breakdown’s Episode 18 of “Death in a Hot Car; Mistake or Murder?” covers the court’s momentous ruling and the aftermath.
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