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Report: Dad talked about insurance after son's hot car death

Justin Harris with his son, Cooper CBS Atlanta

MARIETTA, Ga. The Georgia father accused of murder in his son's death last month in a hot SUV told family members how to cash in on the $27,000 life insurance policies on the boy, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, citing search warrants released Friday.

Justin Ross Harris, 33, allegedly made the comments while in jail, reports the paper.

"Through the investigation Harris has made comments to family members regarding a life insurance policy that he has on Cooper and what they need to do in order to file for it," the documents state, reports the paper.

Harris and his wife Leanna also reportedly told police that their worst fear was that their 22-month-old son, Cooper, would be left inside a hot vehicle, reports the paper.

The documents reportedly reveal some new information in the death investigation, but largely echo hours of testimony from a Thursday hearing during which Harris was denied bond. During the hearing, detectives said Harris and his wife had two life insurance policies on their son, and that Harris was "sexting" a 17-year-old girl while his son died in the hot car.

According to police, Harris said that on the morning of June 18, he went to breakfast with his son at Chick-fil-A, then strapped the child into his car seat and gave him a kiss. Harris was supposed to drive the child to daycare, but he told police he instead drove to work without realizing that his son was in the backseat.

Cobb County Police Detective Phil Stoddard testified Thursday that Harris had been "sexting" with up to six women, including a 17-year-old, while he was at work the day the child died. He also said that the investigation revealed Harris had a habit of speaking with various women through computer-related messaging services and had even met up with some women and told at least one that he had cheated on his wife before.

The detective also said that in the weeks before Cooper's death, Harris did an Internet search for "how to survive in prison" and had looked at websites that advocated living a "child-free" life.

Defense attorney Maddox Kilgore argued that the evidence involving Harris' Internet and texting activities had no bearing on his client's intent and was being used simply to publicly shame him.

  • Crimesider Staff

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