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Toxicology results negative in toddler hot car death

Toxicology results negative in toddler hot car death

Report shows no indication Cooper Harris was drugged or sedated.

Toxicology results released Thursday show that the Georgia toddler who died after being left by his father in a hot car last month had not been drugged or sedated.

From 11 Alive news in Atlanta:

Details of the toxicology report of the 22-month-old boy who died after his father left him in a hot car in Cobb County have been released.

Cooper Harris had no medications and no sedation agents given to him on the day of his death, according to the report.

The boy’s father, Ross Harris, is charged with felony murder and cruelty to a child in the second-degree in the June 18 death.

Experts say the clean toxicology report doesn’t help the prosecution because it reduces their ability to argue that the death was premeditated. However, the results are not pivotal in the case, according to experts.

Investigators continue to work on the case, after preliminary information was presented during a probable cause hearing last week. Details revealed during that hearing indicate that Ross Harris was allegedly sexting other women while at work on the day his son died. Investigators also revealed details of Harris’ online search activity, which is said to have included searches on Georgia laws on the age of consent and “how to survive prison.” Police also said Harris twice watched a public service announcement video about hot car deaths, and that both Harris and his wife had researched hot car deaths online.

While the wife of Ross Harris, Leanna Harris, has not been charged in the case, it was also reported Thursday that she has hired Cobb County, Georgia defense attorney Lawrence Zimmerman.

[Featured image: 11 Alive video]


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Experts say the clean toxicology report doesn’t help the prosecution because it reduces their ability to argue that the death was premeditated.

They don’t need evidence that the kid was drugged to prove premeditation here. Read the transcript of the probable cause hearing and you’ll have no doubt this was 1st degree murder. The kid was alive and well, and very much awake when the father took him to the Chik-Fil-A for his last meal. The father’s workplace, and the nearby day care center, were less than half a mile away. No way he could have forgotten the kid in that brief amount of time. Plus there is the fact that he repeatedly lied to the police about what had happened. For example, after he took the dead kid out of the car, and a stranger was trying to revive him with CPR, the father walked to the other side of the car and made a phone call. People at the scene heard him talking to someone on the phone (phone records revealed it was his wife) — but when the police questioned him, he denied having made any calls. He also told police he had not returned to the car during the day, but surveillance video shows that he did. He also received an e-mail from the day care center around lunchtime, asking where his son was. He did nothing.

But the saddest thing was probably how the surveillance video shows him remaining in the car for 30 seconds after he parked it at work, just minutes after leaving the Chik-Fil-A. He was probably using the time to tell his son how much he loved him, and that he’d be right back — before he walked away and deliberately left the child there to slowly cook to death.

I’d have more sympathy for this SOB if he had drugged the kid. At least then we’d know he had some small measure of concern for the suffering his son was going to endure.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Observer. | July 10, 2014 at 8:31 pm

    He also backed into the parking spot where he parked for work. Most people turn and look behind them before they back up. He would have seen his son in the car then. And then theirs all the technology evidence. The only question remaining is when do they come down on the wife, or does she turn on him first.

    I don’t think the tox report damages the prosecution’s case. They’ve got this POS dead to rights. Let’s just hope the jury doesn’t fall for his baby face looks and deliver a Casey Anthony-type verdict.

      Yes, and from the way the cop described the size of the vehicle and the position of the baby seat and the mannequin (approximating the kid’s size), it’s pretty much impossible not to see the kid if you’re in the car.

      Then there is the fact that the guy got into the car after work, and despite the overwhelming stench inside the car (as described by the cops), he didn’t bother to look around inside the vehicle to see where the smell was coming from. Instead, he just got in and drove a few miles before stopping and pretending to discover the body. There is no innocent explanation for that behavior. He didn’t need to look for the source of the awful odor in the vehicle, because he knew exactly what was causing it.

        JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Observer. | July 11, 2014 at 12:49 pm

        In addition to what you’ve said, I speculate that he didn’t want to make a commotion at work because he would be around people who know him and might detect phoniness/falsity in his response to finding his dead son, and then there’re the co-workers he went to lunch with who knew he bought light bulbs and dropped him by his car to put them inside. They know he would have seen his son then and one or more would have likely blabbed that to the cops responding to the scene right then and there. It was lunch time when he dropped the light bulbs off, so surely his son was dead or certainly unconscious by then.

        I’m assuming he works at a Home Depot corporate office and not a store, else why not just buy the bulbs at the store and take them with him when he left for the day? If his job is at a store, it makes the whole light bulb thing even more incriminating. But even if he doesn’t work inside a store, why not just carry the bag of bulbs into the office after lunch and take them with him when he left for the day? Why make the special effort to put them in the car at that time? Because he had to contrive a reason to go to the car to see if his baby was dead yet.

Something peculiar going on. Consider this, from the CNN transcript –

UNIDENTIFIED PROSECUTOR: During this day, did the defendant get any e-mails from the daycare?

STODDARD: Yes. He received a group from the — his teacher, Cooper’s teacher, michelle Gray, and that came in around 1:30 p.m.

UNIDENTIFIED PROSECUTOR: Let’s talk a little bit about the movies. You said he was going to the movies and his co-workers corroborated that.

The prosecutor pursues all sorts of trivia, but brushes past the e-mail. Very odd.

The e-mail from the teacher “came in” around 1:30 p.m. How was that determined? If they can show that Harris accessed his ISP account, either via web or POP, then it would be very difficult to make “he forgot” a convincing story.

Does anyone know the physiology of dying from being in an overheated car?

When I think of this, I hear his cries.

Is there a merciful cessation of consciousness before pain or was this child in torment almost to the end?

I predict Harris will not survive either jail or prison. Even criminals have lines they won’t cross.

    smalltownoklahoman in reply to jakee308. | July 11, 2014 at 6:05 am

    “I predict Harris will not survive either jail or prison. Even criminals have lines they won’t cross.”

    That’s my thinking too. At the very least I hope he gets repeatedly punched or kicked in the balls while he’s in jail.

    Observer in reply to jakee308. | July 11, 2014 at 8:24 am

    They suffer before they lose consciousness. According to the reports, this poor kid had scratches on his face, and had struggled to free himself from the too-small car seat.

    There was a case reported from New Mexico yesterday, in which two parents had locked their 5-year-old daughter in their car while they went shopping, to punish her for not eating some food earlier. The kid was screaming in agony and banging on the windows when passers-by heard her cries and managed to get her out of the vehicle. She was taken to the hospital and will survive, and the parents were arrested.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Observer. | July 11, 2014 at 1:21 pm

      “They suffer before they lose consciousness. According to the reports, this poor kid had scratches on his face, and had struggled to free himself from the too-small car seat.”

      That beautiful, innocent baby boy. For him to suffer so makes me ill. He was a blessing. Surely God has a very special place in mind for these monsters.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to jakee308. | July 11, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    The theory of prison inmates being taken aback and acting out toward kiddie killers and rapists as though they have some code or standard of ethics is a bit of a myth. It does happen, but not much. Occasionally an inmate who was severely abused as a child will take advantage of the opportunity to “give some”, but it doesn’t happen nearly to the extent the public believes. This defendant would be more likely to become prison prey because he’s a young, baby-faced, white boy with no street smarts. It will be tantamount to throwing a baby bunny into a den of voracious wolves. He’ll become a soprano within 48 hours as he’s christened with a prison nic of something like “Purdy Bitch”.

    I can hardly wait. Go wolves, go!

I do have to point out one thing; that is that children dying in overheated cars weren’t much of a problem before the government mandated child seats and forced parents to put their children in the back seat.

Uncle Samuel | July 11, 2014 at 6:27 am

Both parents show a complete lack of conscience and humanity.

The man’s (not much of a man, but certainly can’t call him a father) sexting other women (not singular?) while his son is dying show he’s a sex/porn addict, a condition of diminished humanity.

Wonder if the wife has participated in such activities?

The couple could have given their child up for adoption if they had a little bit of conscience and an awareness of their inability to love their child. But they took the evil path.

There’s no way this animal forgot his son was in the car.

Six minutes before arriving at work stopped at Chik-Fil-A.
Child seen on tape.

Backed car into parking place not usual way he parked.

Daycare center called him at work. To say what, that his child was at Daycare…not.

If they can’t convict on these alone the prosecution is run by idiots.

G. de La Hoya | July 11, 2014 at 3:22 pm

Sometimes it seems like we have heard of it all. The picture of that little boy, Cooper, brings tears to my eyes. The only consolation that I can personally grasp is that if Cooper’s dad and mom were involved in this, I would not want to be them when meeting their maker.