‘A level of closure’: Mom of 2-year-old who died in hot car reacts to news her ex won’t be retried

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Ross Harris’ former wife said she can now put his murder case behind her after the Cobb County D.A. announced Thursday that they will not retry the case.

Harris was initially convicted of intentionally leaving his son, 22-month-old Cooper Harris, in a hot car for seven hours in 2014, which led to his death.

Prosecutors argued that Harris was having multiple extramarital affairs, some with underage girls, and wanted to get out of fatherhood and marriage.

Defense attorneys argued that Harris was a good father who simply forgot to drop his son off at daycare on his way to work.

The Georgia Supreme Court later reversed the murder convictions, letting other charges having to do with Harris’ communication with teenage girls stand.

On Friday, Channel 2′s Cobb County Bureau Chief Michele Newell spoke to a lawyer for Leanna Harris Taylor, Ross Harris’ ex-wife and Cooper’s mother, about the D.A.’s decision not to retry the case.

Attorney Lawrence Zimmerman said the news is closure for Taylor, who can now focus on keeping his memory alive and in peace, something she hasn’t been able to do for nearly 10 years.

“At the end of the day, a child died, and it’s a terrible tragedy,” Zimmerman said. “It destroyed the family. She always believed he never intentionally tried to hurt her child. That’s the bottom line.”

Zimmerman said that despite the “bad actions” in their marriage, Taylor always thought Harris was a good father.

The Georgia Supreme Court overturned the murder and child cruelty convictions against Harris last summer, saying that evidence of his affairs should not have been admissible in court. Nearly a year later, Cobb County District Attorney Flynn Broady has decided not to retry Harris despite the fact that they disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision.

Broady cited the fact that “motive evidence” used during the first trial is no longer available due to the Supreme Court’s decision as his reason for not take Harris to trial again.

Zimmerman said that when the Supreme Court opinion came out, Taylor felt her ex-husband was vindicated.

“It’s a level of closure,” Zimmerman said. “This chapter of her life is officially closed, but obviously, she will never get over the pain of losing her son and how she lost her son.”

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