Justin Ross Harris’ defense team on Monday assailed Cobb police’s handling of the investigation that led to the arrest of the former Home Depot web developer charged with intentionally leaving his son inside a hot car to die.
In a 35-page motion being heard in Cobb County Superior Court, the defense accused police of searching Harris’ cell phone “without securing a search warrant … a clear violation of (his) Fourth Amendment rights.”
Harris’ lawyers seek to suppress all evidence obtained from their client’s cell phone, which an officer seized in the Cobb parking lot just minutes after the Marietta man discovered his 22-month-old son’s lifeless body.
Cobb Police Detective Jacquelyn Piper testified Monday she took the phone away from Harris after he had become confrontational with another officer at the scene. He was not a suspect at the time.
Piper said she placed her hands on Harris and he then became compliant. Still, she bound him with two pairs of handcuffs and refused Harris’ plea to call the daycare facility where his wife was due to pick up their son, thinking Cooper had been dropped off there that morning.
Harris, 34, pleaded not guilty to charges including malice murder, felony murder and cruelty to children. He has been held without bond since his arrest in June 2014, with his trial scheduled to begin February 22.
Cobb Superior Court Judge Mary Staley said Monday she was determined to stick to that date, calling it “reasonable” and “doable.”
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