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Hot car death dad sentenced to life without parole

A US father who left his toddler son to die in a hot car has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Hot car dad

Hot car dad

A US father who left his toddler son to die in a hot car has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Justin Ross Harris was found guilty of the 22 month old’s death in June 2014, after he left the boy locked in a car outside his office in Atlanta, Georgia.

The 36-year-old argued that he forgot to drop the boy at nursery, and that leaving him was a mistake. Prosecutors argued that Harris had plotted to kill his son because he wanted to leave his family and continue affairs with other women.

During the five week trial, jury members heard that while his son sweltered in the hot car, Harris was sending lewd messages to underage girls.

His lawyers argued that while he is responsible for the death, it was an act of tragic forgetfulness, and not deliberate.

Cooper Harris died of hyperthermia after being left for seven hours in the vehicle, while outside temperatures hit 32C.

His phone records also showed he had searched how long it would take to die in a hot car, plus looked at websites for a child-free lifestyle.

Despite this, Justin’s wife Leanna – who divorced him following his arrest – testified on his behalf, saying that while he had destroyed her life, he was a loving father.

When he was found guilty in November, ex-wife Leanna took to social media to say that the verdict was unjust.

“…you can convict every parent that this has ever happened to [accidentally left a child in a car], and I can promise you 2 things…#1 it will never bring our children back and #2 it will not prevent this from happening in the future.

“Next summer, as this begins to happen over and over again, ask yourself, ‘what can be done?!’ The problem is not the parent! The problem is a society that refuses to believe this can happen to them! Wake up! Accept it! And by accepting it you will be protecting your child!””

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