Prosecutors and defense attorneys are concluding their closing statements in the trial of Justin Ross Harris, the man accused of intentionally leaving his 22-month-old son to die in a hot car while he went to his job at Home Depot. A jury is expected to begin deliberations on Monday afternoon.
But while Harris’s fate hangs in the balance, his ex-wife, Leanna Taylor, who divorced Harris after his extra-marital affairs came to light, is hoping to put the case behind her.
“She thinks he should be acquitted,” a source close to Taylor tells PEOPLE. “But she never, ever wants to see or talk to him again. She wants to forget he ever existed.”
Taylor testified for the defense, depicting Harris as a devoted father who loved Cooper very much.
“He was a very involved dad,” she said in court last week. “We were both very involved — diaper changes, baths, meals. Everything was very evenly split.”
But during cross-examination, she grew visibly angry.
“He ruined my life. He destroyed my life. I’m humiliated, I may never trust anybody again the way that I did,” she testified. “If I never see him again in my life after this day, that’s fine.”
The source close to Taylor says her well of anger runs deep. “It’s not just that she never wants to see him again,” the source says. “She is actively figuring out how to keep their paths from ever crossing again. She doesn’t even say his name anymore.”
• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.
Sexting and Suspicion
Taylor used the last name Harris until her divorce from Harris was finalized earlier this year, after which she reverted back to her maiden name.
While she was initially very forgiving of Harris, sources previously told PEOPLE that the man’s sexting and admitted extra-marital sex was “painful and infuriating” to her.
On the day that Cooper died in the car, Harris allegedly exchanged sexual text messages with six different females. One of the females he allegedly sexted was just 16 years old. He also admitted to visiting prostitutes, one of whom testified against him during trial.
During trial, Taylor claimed that she was unaware of his sexual activity at the time. “I didn’t know,” she said. “If I had, I would have divorced him right then. I just very bluntly one night said, ‘Do you want a divorce? If you want one, I will give it to you.’ He said, ‘That’s the last thing I want.’ ”
Taylor Initially Suspected but Since Cleared
Initially, police considered Taylor a suspect because of her demeanor following Cooper’s death, but she was cleared of any wrongdoing.
During the trial, Cobb County police detective Phil Stoddard characterized Taylor’s behavior as emotionless and “strange.” He also alleged that, after her husband’s arrest, she asked Harris, “Did you say too much?”
However, Taylor has been classified as a “victim” in recent court documents, and even issued a victim’s impact statement during pretrial.
Harris has been charged with eight felony counts in Cooper’s death, including malice murder, cruelty to children and criminal attempt to commit a felony. He faces life in prison if he’s convicted.
He has always maintained it was a tragic accident — not murder — and his defense attorney has said his sexual impropriety is not proof of motive for his alleged crimes.