Minute-by-minute in the Justin Ross Harris trial (Nov. 2)

This is a running account of the Justin Ross Harris murder trial in Brunswick. The Cobb County man is charged with leaving his 22-month-old son, Cooper, in a hot SUV to die on June 18, 2014. In yesterday's proceedings, Harris's ex-wife, Leanna Taylor, finished her testimony for the defense. The defense case continues today.

Kirkpatrick is excused. After a brief sidebar, Judge Staley Clark tells the jury that it is dismissed for the rest of the day. Apparently defense testimony today went more quickly than expected, and an expert witness for the defense is not currently available to testify. The jury files out. The judge speaks with the parties about drafting a "charging order" -- the instructions the judge gives the jury before it begins deliberation -- and says the court will need a verdict form. Apparently the end of the trial is not imminent; Staley Clark says it's moving smoothly and she wants to be prepared when the time comes.

Boring asks about the level of preparation the defense did with witness Billy Kirkpatrick, who says he is Harris's best friend, implying that some of his testimony seemed rehearsed.

The witness says he met with Harris's defense team but adds firmly: "My answers are my answers. I want to be clear."

Later in the cross-examination, Boring asks, "Did you know he said, 'I love my son and all, but we both need escapes' 10 minutes before he locked his child in the car?"

"No," Kirkpatrick says.

Kirkpatrick says Harris's appointment to a job as a public safety dispatcher in Tuscaloosa was a big step forward for Harris and that he was very proud. Kilgore asked whether Kirkpatrick had known him to use police jargon or lingo.

"I've never known him not to use police lingo. ... If we're discussing some crime, he'd go, 'That's a 129, that's a 183.' He would randomly talk about crimes but he would do it in code."

After the Harrises moved to Georgia, Kirkpatrick recalls a conversation when the three were together. Leanna was talking about her disappointment and "really questioning whether she could stay with him or not."

Kilgore's last question is whether Kirkpatrick ever heard Harris talk about his son with malice. Kirkpatrick says no.

Billy Kirkpatrick, a close friend of Justin Ross Harris who runs an AIDS outreach program in Alabama, testifies at Harris' murder trial at the Glynn County Courthouse in Brunswick, Ga., on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016. Kirkpatrick says that Harris asked him to be an "accountability partner" to help him address his problems with pornography. (screen capture via WSB-TV)

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Credit: WSB-TV

11:23 a.m.

Kirkpatrick says he became Harris's "accountability partner," although that effort sputtered over time.

Then Harris contacted him in 2013, saying in an email that he was really struggling with pornography and that he needed help.

He says there were websites such as "adult sex finder" on Harris's accountability report.

He said he didn't know about Harris's extramarital activities but tells Kilgore he's not surprised that Harris hadn't confided in him.

Kirkpatrick: He knew that I would have been disappointed in him.

Kilgore: Are you disappointed in him?

Kirkpatrick: Extremely. Yes, sir.

He says he loves ross but he is often a "massive dork." He is always looking for information -- just "senseless facts."  "He has moments when he is just an incredible friend. ... It's sometimes very difficult to put your finger on his uniqueness."

Kirkpatrick says of HArris: "He never shuts up. ... If there's a guitar anywhere within 20 yards, he's going to find it and play it. He loves being the center of attention. In fact, one time we went to lunch at a restaurant in Tuscaloosa. I knew more people there than he did, and it pissed him off. He is incredibly friendly, very sociable, always the life of the party.

Witness Billy Kirkpatrick says he remained close friends with Ross Harris even after Harris moved away from Tuscaloosa.

He says the Harrises told him he was the first person they told about Leanna becoming pregnant with Cooper. Kirkpatrick recalls going to the Harrises' apartment to watch an Alabama football game a few weeks after Cooper was born. He cites another occasion when the Harrises traveled to his home in Tuscaloosa to watch a game and saw Harris with his son on sevreral

Kilgore asks whether Kirkpatrick knew about Harris' extramarital sexual activity. He says yes. Kilgore asks when he became aware of that.

"Around 2010. As close as we were, there are things that I'm going to know about in his life. It came out through discussion with him. I wasn't sure of the extent (at the time). I didn't know if he was just watching pornography or was doing something else. ... He and I would discuss it, and it became clear exactly what his issues were."

Kirkpatrick says his Tuscaloosa church and a men's group there has dealt directly with men who are engaging in risky or extramarital sexual behavior.

Kirkpatrick says he has been close friends with Harris ever since the two roomed together years ago. He says Ross has done IT work for his AIDS outreach agency. He says he was in Ross's wedding, and Ross was in his wedding.

Next witness: Billy Kirkpatrick, Tuscaloosa, Ala. He runs an AIDS outreach program in Alabama and also teaches a college class on public administration. He has advanced degrees in psychology and public administration.

Kilgore: In the 28 months since Cooper died, has ANYONE from the Cobb County Police Department contacted you?

Coyle: No.

She says the district attorney's office contacted her in September of this year.

Chuck Boring asks her whether she's aware the police had a copy of her emails early on. She says she wasn't aware of that.

After a roughly 30-minute break, lead defense attorney Maddox Kilgore recalls travel agent Heather Coyle.

Simmons finishes his testimony, and Judge Mary Staley Clark sends the jury out the midmorning break.

Chuck Boring cross-examines Michael Simmons. Simmons tells him he and some friends were on a 10-over layover in Atlanta when they got together with Harris for a few hours. This was on June 7.

Boring: You've known the defendant since 2000, is that correct?

Simmons: Correct.

Boring: So you haven't lived in the same area in close proximity to the defendant in 11 years?

Simmons: Not since 2005.

Boring: Would you agree that he (Ross) was loud ... and that he wanted to impress people?

Simmons agrees, although he describes Harris as "pretty confident" and not much concerned with what people thought of him.

Simmons says he was unaware that Harris had been sexting underage girls. Nor did he know Harris was consorting with prostitutes. Says he wouldn't describe Harris as a "big risk taker."

Boring points out that Harris was taking enormous risks, having sex with women in public, going to prostitutes, sexting with strangers.

"That would not be in line with the Ross that I know." Simmons says.

Michael Simmons, a friend of Justin Ross Harris since they met at a high school bible study, testifies at Harris' murder trial at the Glynn County Courthouse in Brunswick, Ga., on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016. Simmons said that he wished that he had known about Harris' problems with pornography and infidelity, and that he thinks he could have helped him. (screen capture via WSB-TV)

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Simmons says Harris never told him about any of his extramarital sexual activities and wishes he had. "If that had happened to me, I know he would have been there for me," Simmons says.

He visited the Harrises in June 2014, the month Cooper died. "He was glad to be there. He'd talked about moving to a big city for some time. He talked about moving to Nashville. Then he moved to Atlanta."

Harris told him he and Leanna were looking for a house by then and Harris took him around, showing him areas where they might buy. "The schools were good. It would be a good place for Cooper to grow up," he says Harris told him about his current neighborhood.

He said he had no inkling that Harris was having problems in his marriage or that he and Leanna were growing increasingly estranged.

He says he moved to Baton Rouge in 2005, but he and Harris remained friends and visited as often as they could. He says Ross and Leanna were excited when Leanna got pregnant with Cooper. Harris had told him long before that that he hoped to have a son and would name him Cooper.

Simmons met Cooper in May of 2014 on a visit to Tuscaloosa, where a mutual friend was getting married.

Next witness: Michael Simmons of Baton Rouge, La. Says he and Harris met in 2000 at a high school Bible study in Tuscaloosa, Ala., where both lived at the time. Simmons says he and Harris and he became close friends, often hanging out together. He says he spent nearly every day with Harris that summer. Harris was setting up displays for Coca-Cola, he says; Simmons had just graduated from high school, and Harris and his roommate let him move in for a couple of months. Harris was a year or two older. He was a groomsman at Ross and Leanna's wedding.

Chuck Boring cross-examines Coyle. He asks whether Harris had followed up at all between the time he asked her about the trip at church a month before and that email on June 17. She says no.

Boring points out that one five-person suite would have cost $3,000. He asked whether Harris had responded promptly to her emails the day before, and she says yes. But he didn't respond at all to her email on the morning Cooper died.

Heather Coyle, a travel agent who attended church with Justin Ross Harris and Leanna Taylor, testifies at Harris' murder trial at the Glynn County Courthouse in Brunswick, Ga., on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016. She testified that she helped Ross and Leanna plan a trip to the Dominican Republic. (screen capture via WSB-TV)

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Travel agent Heather Coyle reads an email response from Harris, answering most of her questions, that was sent about 6 p.m. June 14. He confirms that he, Leanna and Cooper will be along, as well as his brother and his wife and four kids. They want to limit the trip to five days to cut down on cost and probably are looking at the Bahamas or elsewhere in the Caribbean. She acknowledges that she wrote back on the morning of June 18, the day Cooper died, with various options, including a Carnival cruise in October.

She reads an email sent by Harris the afternoon of June 17, the day before Cooper died.

"My family is looking to go on a cruise around mid-"October. When I say family, I mean nine people. ... I was hoping you could put a few things together to see what we're looking at."

She says she wrote back that she was happy to help and had a few questions to get started: the length of the cruise, the budget, port of departure, ages of the kids, who would be in which cabins, destination

Next witness: Heather Coyle, wife of the previous witness. She is a travel agent in Marietta who specializes in trips to tropical islands. Kilgore asks whether she had communication with Harris in 2014 about a family trip. "Briefly in passing he mentioned he wanted to plan a trip for the family, a cruise. I said, 'OK, shoot my an email,'" Coyle says. This conversation took place at church one Sunday.

Lead prosecutor Chuck Boring takes the cross-examination of Coyle. Coyle confirms that he once told investigators that Harris told the men Leanna was going to tell the women's group that she had found him viewing pornography.

Nathaniel Coyle, who attended church groups with Justin Ross Harris and Leanna Taylor, testifies at Harris' murder trial at the Glynn County Courthouse in Brunswick, Ga., on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016. He said that Harris confessed to his small group that he had a problem looking at pornography, and that the group prayed for him. He said that Harris seemed like a loving father to Cooper. (screen capture via WSB-TV)

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Credit: WSB-TV

Next witness: Nathaniel Coyle from Marietta, who says he and Harris both attended Stonebridge Church on the Marietta square. Defense attorney Bryan Lumpkin is handling the direct examination. Lumpkin asks whether the church had small groups that met during the week to discuss various subjects -- that week's sermon, a certain book, etc. Coyle was a member of group with Ross and Leanna Harris beginning in January 2013. They met at the church every other Monday night and eventually broke into men's and women's groups.

Lumpkin: Did there come a time when you became aware of Ross having an issue with pornography?

Coyle: Yes, sir. ... He brought up that Leanna had found some pornography on his computer." He said he was having problems staying away from porn and asked the men's group to pray for him.

Coyle says he had no knowledge of Harris's sexual exploits -- sexting, meeting prostitutes, and so on.

Prosecutor Susan Treadaway takes the cross-examination of Henry. She asks whether this would have been a "low-stress meeting," and he says yes.

She asks whether Henry believed that Harris was communicating with him that day remotely, with his phone, or by some other device. He says phone. She then turns to what Henry knew about Harris's family.

Treadaway: You never actually met Cooper?

Henry: No, I did not.

Treadaway: So you never would have had the opportunity to observe Cooper with the defendant?

Henry: No, I did not.

She points out that Ryan's knowledge of Harris's relationship with Cooper was limited to what Harris told him about it. He agrees.

Ryan Henry, a project manager at Home Depot, testifies at the murder trial of Justin Ross Harris at the Glynn County Courthouse in Brunswick, Ga., on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016. (screen capture via WSB-TV)

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Kilgore asks Henry whether Harris ever shared highly personal information. He says no. Their relationship was more in the nature of talking about football or their kids.

In response to a question, Henry says he believes this was to be Harris's first project as the lead developer. The 3:30 p.m. meeting was to be a conference call, with participants from Atlanta and Texas. He says Harris dialed in first, after Henry. While they waited for other people, Henry asked how Cooper was doing. "He said he was doing good. He was getting ready for his birthday party coming up." A moment later, other people dialed in and the meeting began.

Henry talks about a kickoff meeting for the project at 10 a.m. on June 18, 2014 -- the day Cooper died. He says a team member emailed that she couldn't make it at the appointed time. Harris responded that was fine with him, and maybe they could reschedule for that afternoon, Henry says. The meeting was then moved to 3:30 p.m.

Henry describes Harris as a "nice guy." Henry might stop by his desk to chat, or they would run into each other in the break room and talk. "I wouldn't say we were like friends -- we were friends at work. ... He was very nice to me. I like Ross. I think he's a good guy."

He has two daughters, and he and Harris often talked about their kids. "I formed the opinion that he really loves his son. ... He seemed very happy and excited when he would talk to me about what was going on."

Defense attorney Maddox Kilgore asks about a time when Harris was named lead developer -- the "dev lead" -- on a project that Henry was running.

Justin Ross Harris arrives in court for another day of defense testimony in his murder trial at the Glynn County Courthouse in Brunswick, Ga., on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016. (screen capture via WSB-TV)

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First witness: Ryan Henry of Roswell, a contract employee at Home Depot who worked in the same group with Harris for about 16 months. He says he was a project manager, while Harris was a web developer. Asked for an example of his work, he said he would lead a team that might, for example, try to improve the load time for a given web page or site. Projects could last three months to a year, although the teams also sometimes worked in "sprints" to develop a given component of the project.

The defense team has entered the courtroom, as has the defendant. Harris is wearing a jacket, white shirt and blue tie. The prosecution is seated, and the judge orders the jury brought in.