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  • 4 September 2014, 19:36

Hot Car Death: Father Charged With Murder

The father of a toddler who died after being left in a hot car for several hours has been charged with murder.

Justin Ross Harris was indicted by a grand jury on several charges including malice murder, felony murder and cruelty to children.

Harris has been in jail since his son, 22-month-old Cooper, died on June 18.

The 33-year-old told police he forgot to drop off his son at daycare and accidentally left him strapped to a car seat while he went to work for seven hours.

During a probable cause hearing in July, detectives testified that Harris had conducted an internet search on "child deaths inside vehicles and what temperature it needs to be for that to occur".

Harris told police he researched the information because "he was fearful that this could happen".

Temperatures in the Atlanta area reached the high 80s Fahrenheit (30s Celsius) on the day Cooper died, police said.

The medical examiner ruled that the boy died of hyperthermia - essentially overheating - and has called his death a homicide.

Harris' defence attorney Maddox Kilgorehas said that Cooper's death was a tragic accident.

But prosecutors have suggested that Harris was essentially leading a double life and did not want children.

A detective testified in July that Harris was sitting in his office exchanging nude photos with several women the day his son died.

Harris' wife, Leanna Harris, has said her husband was a "wonderful father", and a friend of Harris testified that Harris often talked about how much he loved his son.

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