'Breakdown’ S02 Ep. 7: Harris trial moves to Georgia's Golden Isles


The Justin Ross Harris trial heads to Brunswick after a four-month hiatus and a change of venue from Cobb County. What sort of jury will Judge Mary Staley Clark find on Georgia’s coast? Episode Seven of Season Two of Breakdown looks at why the trial’s new venue could be called a prosecutor’s dream.

Legal affairs writer Bill Rankin explores the demographics of Glynn County – while stealing wistful glances of Georgia’s picturesque islands – and chases a mystery involving a newspaper classified ad that could have been an attempt to influence the county’s residents in favor of Harris.

Rankin also catches listeners up on other recent cases involving the deaths of children in hot cars, including the Asa Martell North case in Carroll County. North is facing two counts of second-degree murder for leaving his 15-month-old twin daughters in a hot SUV last month. Although hot car death cases happen with some frequency, Rankin finds that there’s little consistency in how the charges are brought against the parents or caretakers.

Finally, Episode Seven looks at an important motions hearing that took place over the summer. At stake was whether a witness and two items of evidence would be allowed at the trial. The witness, Dr. David Diamond, is the psychologist who coined the term “forgotten baby syndrome,” meant to describe how the phenomenon happens to parents. Prosecutors contended that Diamond should not be able to give his opinion that Harris did not deliberately leave Cooper in the car. The two items of evidence – Harris’ SUV and a 3D rendering of the crime scene – were more contentious issues. In the end, Staley Clark sided with the prosecutors, delivering a setback for the defense as both sides get ready for the trial’s reset on Sept. 12.

Go to iTunes to catch up on all episodes of both seasons of Breakdown, and don't forget to subscribe.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

09/24 Mike Luckovich: Bill Cassidy, witch doctor
09/24 Mike Luckovich: Bill Cassidy, witch doctor

Road closures underway for new $5M Cobb traffic project
Road closures underway for new $5M Cobb traffic project

Closures have begun for the $5 million Wade Green Road construction project over I-75. There will be a single-lane closure on the bridge from Monday to Friday. The whole bridge will be closed from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday and the same times the next weekend. That section of the West Cobb artery will be transformed into a diverging diamond interchange...
‘Political Rewind’ replay: John McCain says no, and Sarah Palin’s back

Today’s edition of GPB’s “Political Rewind” began with breaking, AP style news: Sen. John McCain declared his opposition Friday to the GOP’s last-ditch effort to repeal and replace “Obamacare,” dealing a likely death blow to the legislation and, perhaps, to the Republican Party&rsquo...
FBI agent sentenced for disclosing sensitive material to mistress
FBI agent sentenced for disclosing sensitive material to mistress

When FBI agent Ken Hillman was assigned to Northwest Georgia, his aim was clear: catch sex predators who target children online. But on Friday, Hillman stood in front of a federal judge and pleaded guilty to a crime of his own; disclosing sensitive law enforcement material to his married mistress. Senior U.S. District Court Judge Harold Murphy fined...
As execution looms, Georgia murderer wants to be seen as a new man
As execution looms, Georgia murderer wants to be seen as a new man

The Keith “Bo” Tharpe who murdered his sister-in-law almost three decades ago is not the same man scheduled to be executed next week, his lawyers argued in a clemency petition to the state Board of Pardons and Paroles. Instead, the 59-year-old man who now sits on death row is a much better person than the crack-addicted, angry man who fired...
More Stories