Dad in Hot-Car Death Will Never Leave Prison

Justin Ross Harris was sentenced Monday
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 5, 2016 1:25 PM CST
Dad in Hot-Car Death Will Never Leave Prison
Defense attorney Maddox Kilgore holds a photo of Cooper Harris during a murder trial for his father Justin Ross Harris.   (AP Photo/John Bazemore, Pool)

If life in prison without the possibility of parole wasn't unequivocal enough, Justin Ross Harris had that and another 32 years handed to him on Monday. Cobb County Superior Court Judge Mark Staley Clark followed the state's recommendation—what he called "the very least that can be considered just"—in sentencing the now-36-year-old Georgia man in 22-month-old son Cooper's June 2014 hot-car death. Harris passed on the opportunity to make a statement in advance of sentencing, reports the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Harris was in mid-November found guilty on the eight counts he faced, including malice murder, which indicates intent, and felony murder, which does not require proof of intent. Prosecutors claimed Harris—who was allegedly having illicit online chats with up to six women during the seven hours Cooper was in the vehicle—lived a "double life"; the defense argued Harris simply forgot his son was in the back seat because of an innocent change in routine. Harris is legally required to appeal. (More Justin Ross Harris stories.)

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