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Emotional Testimony in Day 2 of Justin Ross Harris Hot Car Death Trial


In Day 2 of the Justin Ross Harris Trial, the defense wrapped up a powerful opening statement in which attorney Maddox Kilgore told the jury that his client is no murderer. Harris is facing eight charges, including malice murder, felony murder and child cruelty. He is also facing charges for allegedly sexting underage girls on the day his son was left to die in the parking lot of the Home Depot Corporate Headquarters in Cobb County, Georgia.

Day 2 Part 1 Opening Statement by Defense

“Ross’s sex life—no matter how peverse and nasty—it doesn’t have a thing in the world to do with the fact that he forgot that little boy,” Harris’s attorney Maddox Kilgore said in an opening statement. Kilgore also played a dramatic video from inside the Cobb County police station in which you can hear Harris wailing shortly after he found his son.  Kilgore also said that there was no evidence that Ross was searching on the internet for things like how long does it take for a child to die a hot car.  Kilgore contends that police lied in their sworn statements when they accused Harris of   these questionable searches. 

Part II: First Witness, Officer Jacqueline Piper testifies:

For their first witness, prosecutors called Jacqueline Piper, an investigator with the Cobb County police. She told jurors about what she encountered when she was first called to the scene where Justin Ross Harris had discovered his child in the backseat of his car. She said she observed  a man walking aimlessly and screaming into the phone that his son is dead. She also talked about some of the casual conversation that he engaged in with her — including asking her how long she’d been in law enforcement. Harris also reportedly complained about the hot temperature in her squad car when she was driving him back to the station in handcuffs.

Part III,  witness James Hawkins, and Anthony Pentane

Next, prosecutors called James Hawkns, who worked at a nearby Cincos. Hawkins said as he was leaving work that day when he witnessed a commotion and went over to see what was going on. That’s when he saw Harris with the child.

“He was ranting ‘she is going to kill me what have I done’ … he was going on on and on,” Hawkins explains.  “I started doing CPR … I didn’t know what the hell he was doing, it wasn’t right what he was doing so I just moved him out of the way. ” Hawkins said the child had died long before he could do anything. He teared up on the stand recounting what happened on that day.

The last witness of the day was Anthony Pentane.  He was also at the scene with James Hawkins. Testimony is supposed to begin again tomorrow. You can watch it live on our Facebook page, where we will also be providing legal analysis.



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Rachel Stockman is President of Law&Crime which includes Law&Crime Productions, Law&Crime Network and Under her watch, the company has grown from just a handful of people to a robust production company and network producing dozens of true crime shows a year in partnership with major networks. She also currently serves as Executive Producer of Court Cam, a hit show on A&E, and I Survived a Crime, a new crime show premiering on A&E this fall. She also oversees production of a new daily syndicated show Law&Crime Daily, which is produced in conjunction with Litton Entertainment. In addition to these shows, her network and production company produce programs for Facebook Watch, Cineflix and others. She has spent years covering courts and legal issues, and was named Atlanta Press Club's 'Rising Star' in 2014. Rachel graduated from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and Yale Law School.