A Georgia man accused of intentionally leaving his 22-month-old son strapped inside a hot car and exchanging nude photos with women as the child was dying was indicted on three counts of murder on Thursday by a grand jury.
Justin Ross Harris, 33, could face the death penalty if convicted. In the eight-count indictment, he faces charges of malice and felony murder, as well as child cruelty and a charge related to sexual exploitation for asking a girl to send him lewd photos.
Cobb County District Attorney Vic Reynolds said he would decide in the next two to three weeks whether to seek the death sentence.
The indictment said the suburban Atlanta father acted “with malice aforethought” when he placed his toddler in a car seat and left him in a sport utility vehicle on a day when the temperature was in the 90s.
Prosecutors have argued that Harris deliberately left his son in the car because he wanted to live a child-free life.
Harris told police he forgot to drop his son, Cooper, off at his daycare center on his way to work and only discovered the child after he left the office that afternoon.
“The truth is, Cooper’s death was a horrible gut-wrenching accident,” Harris’ attorney, Maddox Kilgore, told reporters.