People

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content

Crime

Judge Announces New Location for Justin Ross Harris Trial, Father Accused in Hot Car Death of Toddler Son

Posted on

Justin Ross Harris’ trial will be held in Brunswick, Georgia, Cobb County Judge Mary E. Staley’s office confirmed to PEOPLE.

Staley agreed to move the trial from the Cobb County Courthouse in larger Marietta last month due to pretrial publicity surrounding Harris, who is accused of deliberately leaving his young son to die in a sweltering car.

Brunswick is more than five hours away from Marietta and near the Florida border.

Jury selection initially began in April, and approximately 40 panelists were qualified by both the prosecution and defense for the jury. However, Staley ruled to move the case after defense attorney Maddox Kilgore charged that his client wouldn’t get a fair trial in the original metropolitan courtroom.

Both the prosecution and defense had to agree upon a new venue. New jury selection will begin on Sept. 12, Staley’s office confirmed.

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.

Harris allegedly left son Cooper, then 22 months, in his family’s SUV on June 14, 2014, as he went to work at Home Depot. Cooper died of hyperthermia as temperatures outside reached 90 degrees.

Harris was charged with eight felony counts, including malice murder, cruelty to children and criminal attempt to commit a felony. If found guilty, he could face life in prison.

In a probable cause hearing in 2014, detective Phil Stoddard said that Harris had researched hot car deaths online, as well as “how to survive in prison.” Harris even returned to the car during lunch that day, placing two light bulbs into the vehicle without looking at Cooper’s car seat, as seen in surveillance video. In another pretrial hearing, it was also revealed that Harris was sexting with six women while Cooper sat in the car.

Harris’ defense team has long maintained that Harris forgot Cooper was in the car, and that his death was just a tragic accident.