BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) – A jury evenly split between men and women will hear the murder trial of a Georgia man charged after his toddler son died while left in a hot SUV.
The trial of Justin Ross Harris opened Monday with the seating of 16 jurors – eight men and eight women. Four will serve as alternate jurors, though the judge did not specify which ones.
Prosecutors say Harris intentionally killed his 22-month-old son, Cooper, by leaving him for hours in a vehicle parked outside the father’s metro Atlanta workplace in June 2014. The case drew national attention after prosecutors accused Harris of exchanging lewd text messages while his son sweltered.
Attorneys for Harris, who moved to Georgia from Alabama in 2012, say the death was a tragic accident.