Georgia Man Gets Life Without Parole For Leaving Son to Die

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Justin Ross Harris, who was convicted of intentionally leaving his 22-month-old inside a hot car to die, was sentenced yesterday to life in prison without the possibility of parole, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Judge Mary Staley Clark tacked on an additional 32 years, the maximum penalty allowed, on the recommendation of prosecutors. “There is no justification,” said prosecutor Chuck Boring in requesting the toughest punishment possible. “This is basically the most aggravated killing of another individual, especially a young child … that there’s only one sentence that reflects the evil nature of what he did.”

Harris, now 36, left his toddler son Cooper strapped into a car seat in the back of his sweltering SUV for seven hours on June 18, 2014. He was supposed to take Cooper to day care that morning, but instead, just minutes after the father-son pair had breakfast at Chick-fil-A, the former Home Depot web developer drove straight to work. Defense attorney Maddox Kilgore will file an appeal, saying, “There were breakdowns in the investigation. There were breakdowns in the pre-trial phase, the motions phase. And there were breakdowns in the trial. It’s our belief those breakdowns affected the verdict.”

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