Online petition in Cobb toddler case withdrawn

An online petition asking the Cobb County District Attorney to drop the murder charge against a father accused of leaving his toddler son in an SUV was closed Thursday.

The petition, on the change.org site, had gained more than 11,000 supporters in the days following the death of 22-month-old Cooper Mills Harris and the subsequent arrest of his father. Supporters believed that Justin Ross Harris, 33, should not have been charged with felony murder in the case.

“Justin already has to live with a punishment worse than death,” the petition stated. “Sending what’s left of his family in to bankruptcy to defend him against these charges is only bringing more hardship to a family that will never recover from the loss of a child.”

But Thursday, one day after new details were released in the death investigation, petition organizers stopped the grassroots efforts aimed at DA Vic Reynolds.

“I think that based on the recent developments this petition is no longer relevant,” a note posted on the site stated. “I still pray that this was truly an accident. If that is the case, the DA now knows that the community does not want Justin prosecuted on murder charges.”

In addition to pictures of Ross Harris with his son, the petition site previously had a short video posted to support its message.

Harris has been held without bond at the Cobb County jail since the night of June 18, hours after his son was declared dead in a shopping center parking lot. In addition to murder, he has also been charged with second degree child cruelty, also a felony.

— Please return to ajc.com for updates.

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