Judge sets hearing for Justin Ross Harris in hot car murder case

Justin Ross Harris sits next to Bryan Lumpkin (right), one of his attorneys, during his murder trial in Brunswick in 2016. (Stephen B. Morton for The Atlanta Journal Constitution)
Justin Ross Harris sits next to Bryan Lumpkin (right), one of his attorneys, during his murder trial in Brunswick in 2016. (Stephen B. Morton for The Atlanta Journal Constitution)

A Cobb County judge has set a hearing for Justin Ross Harris’ first round of appeals in the notorious hot car murder case.

Superior Court Judge Mary Staley Clark set aside three days to hear Harris' motion for a new trial on Dec. 14-16. This will be more than four years after Harris was convicted of intentionally leaving his 22-month-old son Cooper in the family's sweltering SUV to die on June 18, 2014.

Harris, a former Home Depot web designer, is now serving a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. He was convicted in November 2016 in Brunswick, where the trial was moved because Clark determined Harris could not get a fair trial in Cobb County.

Prosecutors said Harris killed his son so he could be free to pursue and sleep with as many women as possible. During the trial, jurors heard testimony from eight women who said they either had sex with Harris or exchanged sexually explicit messages, including nude photos, with him.

Harris’ lawyers insisted their client left the son he loved in the car by mistake.

If Clark rules against the motion for a new trial, Harris can then appeal her ruling to the Georgia Supreme Court.

ExploreThe second season of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Breakdown podcast covered the trial from beginning to end.