COBB COUNTY, Ga. – People who know the man accused of leaving his child in hot car say the murder charge is excessive.
Authorities arrested Justin Ross Harris on murder and child cruelty charges after Harris' 22-month-old son, Cooper, died on Wednesday. Police say the boy was left in a vehicle for more than seven hours as temperatures rose to almost 90 degrees.
Harris claimed that he forget to drop the boy off at daycare and instead went to work with the child strapped in a child seat in the back of the vehicle.
Privately, Cobb County investigators tell WXIA that there is evidence that the death is more than just a tragic accident. Publicly, details of the case remain shrouded in mystery.
Several people have come out in support of Harris. An online petition has been created urging the district attorney to drop the charges. Other websites are raising money for Harris and his wife for their expenses. More than $12,000 has been raised so far.
Supporters say that Harris is a caring father and a supportive husband.
Harris, a Home Depot employee who also refereed high school football games, entered a not guilty plea on Thursday. He will remain locked up until his next court appearance on July 15.