Jury in Ross Harris murder trial sent home without reaching verdict


Jurors in the hot-car murder trial on Tuesday were dismissed for the afternoon after deliberating almost three hours without reaching a verdict.

Judge Mary Staley Clark had already arranged to give the six-man, six-woman jury the afternoon off so they could cast their ballots on Election Day. They will return again Wednesday morning.

Nearly two months after reporting for jury duty, the jurors finally began deliberations Tuesday morning. Shortly after 9:30 a.m., court officials hauled boxes of roughly 1,150 pieces of evidence for them to start perusing and get down to work deciding Harris’ fate.

They were also presented with the car seat where 22-month-old Cooper Harris died after spending seven hours in the back seat of his father’s hot SUV on June 18, 2014. The jury is being asked to decide whether the child’s death was an accident or intended.

Harris is charged with malice murder, two counts of felony murder, first-degree cruelty to children, second-degree cruelty to children, sexual exploitation of children and two counts of disseminating harmful material to minors.

It didn’t take long before the jury sent a number of questions to the judge as they set about their deliberations.

For example, jurors asked if they could get a transcript of Harris’ interview with Cobb County Police Det. Phil Stoddard just a few hours after Harris pulled his dead son out of his SUV. Staley Clark would not provide the transcript but is going to allow the jury to watch the video of the interview when jurors return in the morning.

Throughout much of the morning, Harris sat at the defense table with his attorneys. He did not appear outwardly nervous and laughed several times during conversations with the lawyers.



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