‘Breakdown’ S02 Ep. 11: A short week of crucial testimony

  • Staff reports
9:51 a.m. Monday, Oct. 17, 2016 Breakdown

The trial of Justin Ross Harris picks up again in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. The first order of business -- make sure that the jury, so difficult to assemble, isn't scattered to the winds. With everyone accounted for, it's time to hear witness accounts of Cooper Harris' life and death.  

Episode Eleven of Season Two of Breakdown looks at a week's worth of crucial testimony in the Justin Ross Harris murder trial. Legal affairs writer Bill Rankin examines the prosecution's strategy to humanize Cooper by bringing his daycare teachers to the stand and how the defense used the opportunity to humanize his father at the same time.  

Also at issue for the jury this week is whether changes in Ross Harris' routine on the day of Cooper's death amounted to a murderous mindset, and whether Harris drove two miles with the "odor of death" permeating his SUV. Did he already know that Cooper was dead? And why didn't the investigators note the smell in their initial reports? Rankin explains why these questions are so important for both sides.  

Finally we hear the testimony of a former prostitute who, it's alleged, was visited by Ross Harris and made some impressions of the man. What the jury makes of all the revelations from this week remains to be seen.  

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