Harris showed no emotion as a jury of six men and six women found him guilty of all charges including malice murder, two counts of felony murder, and cruelty to children in the first and second degree. Jurors also convicted the Georgia man on two counts of dissemination of harmful material to a minor and criminal attempt to commit felony sexual exploitation of a child after the man was caught “sexting” with a teen. Harris now faces multiple life sentences in prison without the possibility of parole and will be sentenced on December 5 in Cobb County.
After the jurors had heard a total of 70 witnesses, lead prosecutor Chuck Boring argued in his closing argument that Cooper’s death was, indeed, intentional. Boring’s theory was that Harris killed his son to free himself of what he saw as a burden. The Georgia father did, in fact, live a double life and had several affairs with multiple women who kept sexting with him the day of the child’s death. According to the prosecutor, Harris could not leave his wife while Cooper was still alive and left the baby to die in his hot SUV parked in Atlanta during a sunny day with malicious intent.
Harris’ attorney, Maddox Kilgore, expressed his strong emotional reactions several times during the trial and the post-trial press conference. He kept claiming that his client was absolutely innocent and argued that he was merely clueless and forgetful. He thinks that the Georgia father was eventually found guilty because of a “breakdown in the system.” Kilgore argued that all the evidence against Harris just buried him under the weight of his own “sexual sins” because of his affairs outside marriage. “He is responsible” he explained during the conference, “but responsible is not the same thing as criminal,” concluding that a tragic accident is very different from a crime. Even Harris’ ex-wife, Leanna Taylor, described him as a loving father who would never kill his own son on purpose. Kilgore announced that he’s going to begin the necessary paperwork to file an appeal.