State rests its case in hot car death trial

Day 16 - State rests; Defense begins case

After more than 15 days of statements, visuals and testimonies from witnesses, the state rested its case against Ross Harris on Friday.

The state showed three-dimensional animations in court Friday morning that showed the position of Cooper Harris inside the SUV, when it was stopped at a shopping center along Akers Mill Road when police found the child.
 
The scans included the child seat and a representation of the child in the seat. 
 
Defense attorneys compared two separate scans of the interior of the vehicle -- one taken shortly after the death of Cooper Harris in the summer of 2014, and a second scan taken in 2016.
 
They insisted there were differences between the two scans, particularly regarding the placement of the doll representing Cooper within the car seat.
 
The defense began its case by calling a Cobb County detective to the stand. Shaun Murphy worked with Phil Stoddard on the Harris case, and the defense insisted his mistake regarding the height of Harris' car is crucial to the case. 
 
After the conclusion of questioning for the day, defense attorneys once again asked for a mistrial, saying the state had done nothing but provided misinformation, misstatements and outright lies in its presentation. 
 

 
As she had on Thursday, Judge Mary Staley once again denied the motion. 

In Thursday's request for a mistrial, lead defense attorney Maddox Kilgore said the jury was unduly biased by the jury being allowed to physically view the SUV that Ross Harris had driven where little Cooper Harris died. After listening to Kilgore's arguments along with a rebuttal from the state, Judge Staley denied the defense motion. 

Ross Harris faces a number of charges, including malice murder and felony murder in the June 2014 death of his 22-month-old son, Cooper Harris. The toddler died of hyperthermia in the back seat of Harris' SUV at an office park in Vinings. The defense claims the incident was a tragic accident. 

The defense will resume calling witnesses on Monday. Next week's witnesses will likely include Harris' ex-wife, Leanna Taylor. 

11Alive's live coverage begins Monday morning at 8:30 a.m.

PHOTOS | Ross Harris Hot Car Death Trial - Day 16

 

Access previous stories and get in-depth analysis on the Ross Harris trial by clicking here. 

Stay updated on the trial by downloading the FREE 11Alive News app now in the iTunes store or on Google Play.

(© 2016 WXIA)


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