MARIETTA, Ga. - The mother of a Georgia toddler who died after being left for hours in his father's car insists her husband was a loving father and would never have intentionally harmed their son, according to a recent victim impact statement sent to prosecutors.
Leanna Harris also said she has been living a "tortured existence" in the weeks since the death of her 22-month-old son, Cooper, and is undergoing counseling for grief and depression. She has moved back to Alabama to be closer to family and friends.
Her husband, Justin Ross Harris, remains jailed on charges of child cruelty and felony murder. Prosecutors have said they believe Harris intended to kill the boy by leaving him locked inside his SUV for seven hours in June. He has insisted he forgot his son, and his wife said she believes him.
"Ross was a wonderful father, and he loved Cooper with all his heart," Leanna Harris wrote in the questionnaire sent by prosecutors. "I know without a doubt he would never knowingly allowed any harm to come to our son. I want you to know what a loving father he was."
Although Leanna Harris hasn't been charged in the case, investigators have questioned her behavior on the day her son died.
Her attorney told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution he hopes that since his client received the victim questionnaire it will quiet any speculation to the contrary.
"I hope, really, that the public understands they have jumped the gun in thinking that she had anything to do with it whatsoever," Lawrence Zimmerman said Friday. "The District Attorney's Office is calling her a victim. And I hope the public will take the lead from the district attorney."
A prosecutors' spokeswoman says the office is required to send the form to a victim's next of kin, calling it standard procedure.