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Crime

Justin Ross Harris Guilty of Murder in Hot Car Death of His Son

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A jury has found Justin Ross Harris, guilty of murder for intentionally leaving his 22-month-old son to die in a hot car while he went to his job at Home Depot, PEOPLE confirms.

Harris was found guilty of eight felony counts in the death of Cooper Harris, including malice murder, cruelty to children and criminal attempt to commit a felony. He had pleaded not guilty to all charges and now faces life in prison.

After 22 days of testimony and 70 witnesses, it took the jury several days to come to its verdict. During deliberations, they asked several questions to the court about the evidence.

Throughout testimony, jurors heard evidence that Harris exchanged sexual text messages with six different females on the day his son died. 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.

Stephen B. Morton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/AP/Pool
Stephen B. Morton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/AP/Pool

Among the additional evidence against Harris: incriminating computer searches in which he viewed a video of a veterinarian intentionally locking himself in a hot car. He also searched for legal information about surviving in prison.

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Harris admitted to leaving Cooper in the hot car but he said it was a tragic accident.

Harris’s ex-wife, Leanna Taylor, who divorced Harris after his extra-marital affairs came to light, testified on his behalf, calling him a “very involved dad,” but she admitted being angry with him. “He ruined my life,” she said. “If I never see him again, that’s fine.”

Harris will be remanded to county jail until he is sentenced on a later date.