Key evidence could be omitted in hot car death trial


Key evidence could be omitted in the hot car death trial involving Justin Ross Harris. He is accused of leaving his toddler son, Cooper, in a hot car to die last year.

“These exploratory fishing expedition trolling warrants that law enforcement is taking out simply must come to an end,” Lumpkin said.

The defense team for Justin Ross Harris made closing arguments during a suppression hearing before Judge Mary Staley in Cobb County Superior Court Thursday. Attorney Bryan Lumpkin wants to omit key evidence against his client before going to trial.

“They didn't have any idea what was on those computers. They just wanted to look through it. They just wanted to see what might be there,” Lumpkin said.

Lumpkin said detectives violated the 4th amendment when they obtained Harris' phone and computers and began looking for information without proper warrants.

Attorney Jesse Evans in the Cobb County District Attorney's Office refuted the claim that evidence was gathered improperly.

“It is always a crime to leave your toddler strapped into a hot vehicle,” Evans said. “The evidence is clear that police officers saw messaging from the defendant’s phone very early on and that messaging included inappropriate sexual relations with at least one other female.”

The state also said Harris researched hot car deaths before the crime occurred and all of the evidence is essential to reaching an accurate verdict.

“Police officers were not only acting reasonably under the mandates of the 4th amendment, they were acting expeditiously and prudently to try to get answers to the questions that everyone had upon finding Cooper Harris dead on the scene,” Evans said.

Judge Staley did not make a final decision about whether she would allow all the evidence at the trial. She set up another hearing for next month and said she hoped to make a final decision before then.

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