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Justin Ross Harris tries to get evidence of "sexting" thrown out

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COBB COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -

The man accused of intentionally leaving his baby to die in a hot car is trying to get evidence tossed out before his trial.

Attorneys for Justin Ross Harris are trying to suppress electronic evidence filed against him in the case.

Prosecutors said he left his 22-month-old son, Cooper, in a hot car in the summer of 2014.

At a probable cause hearing last summer, details emerged about Harris sexting with women while he was at work that day. Investigators suggested Harris wanted to live a child-free lifestyle and said he had researched how long it takes to die in a hot car.

Harris' defense team is arguing that items such as his phone and computers were seized without probable cause.

Detective Jacquelyn Piper was one of the first ones on scene. She said Harris was frantically talking on the phone as people looked on.

Officers asked him to get off his phone, but he wouldn't, even using profanity in talking back to an officer.

Piper said that's when they detained him, and put him in handcuffs.

"Anytime someone steps forward like that and tells an officer to shut the f--- up, we have to take action," said Piper.

While putting him in handcuffs, Piper also took Harris' phone which contained information the prosecution might use against him. His defense team is trying to get that evidence tossed out. They said investigators didn't follow the right procedure in "obtaining" that evidence.

"They wanted to go on a fishing expedition and see what they could find. Supreme Court says that's improper, we believe that's improper," said defense attorney Bryan Lumpkin.

What Happened?

Harris was supposed to drop Cooper off at daycare, but said he forgot. He told police he drove to work at Home Depot around 9 a.m. Wednesday and left the toddler in the car.

It wasn't until Harris left work and started driving home that he said he looked in the backseat and saw the child still strapped in the car seat and unresponsive.

A warrant stated Harris placed Cooper into his car seat after eating at Chick-fil-A on Cumberland Parkway. The car seat was centered on the rear seat of his car.

Police said Harris then drove to work at Home Depot and left his son strapped into the vehicle while he entered work.

During lunch the warrant states Harris entered his vehicle through the driver's side door to place an object into the vehicle. He then closed the door and left the car, re-entering his place of business.

After work Harris left work and pulled over at a shopping center on Akers Mill Road asking for assistance with his child.

It was determined Cooper died after being left in the car for the day.

The Cobb County Medical Examiner's Office completed an autopsy and concluded the cause of 22-month-old Cooper's death was hypothermia, a condition in which the temperature of the body spikes due to the heat, and the investigative information suggests the manner of death is homicide.

Harris' attorneys have been adamant about his innocence, calling the case a horrible accident.

What's next?

His trial date is set for February 22.  The pre-trial motion hearing will resume Tuesday, December 15, with another hearing set for Friday.

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