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Wife in Georgia hot car death case has attorney

By Jeff Martin

ATLANTA (AP) -- The wife of a Georgia man facing charges after their son was left in a hot car and died has retained a criminal defense attorney for herself.

Atlanta attorney Lawrence Zimmerman said he now represents Leanna Harris.

Her husband, Justin Ross Harris, faces murder and child cruelty charges in the June 18 death of their son, 22-month-old Cooper Harris. The father told Cobb County police he left the boy in the SUV for about seven hours after forgetting to drop him off at day care and going to work.

Leanna Harris has not been charged with any crimes in the death. Asked about his role in the case Friday, Zimmerman told The Associated Press he could not comment further.

"We practice only criminal defense which means that our clients are represented by criminal defense specialists, not a general practice lawyer," Zimmerman's website states.

Meanwhile, the online payment site PayPal says it will give refunds to people who donated to a now-defunct fundraising campaign for the family.

PayPal will soon be issuing refunds to customers who used the service to donate to the campaign at YouCaring.com, where a total of more than $22,000 was given, PayPal spokeswoman Adriana Higuera said in a late Thursday statement.

YouCaring.com is aware of "the sensitive matter involving the Harris family" and does not take sides in legal matters, spokesman Michael Blasco said.

"The campaign was recently removed from the site so that the controversy and debate surrounding the Harris matter did not become a distraction to the millions of other donors participating in a wide variety of active fundraisers currently taking place in our community," Blasco said in a statement.

Harris is a native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and moved to Georgia in 2012 to work for Home Depot.

Home Depot spokeswoman Catherine Woodling confirmed Thursday that Harris no longer works for the company but would not say when he was terminated. She said he had been on leave without pay since his arrest.

Harris' defense attorneys have portrayed him as a caring father who never intended to harm his child and made a horrible mistake.

Cobb County police Det. Phil Stoddard testified in a court hearing last week that Harris was using a computer to exchange nude photos with women the day his son died. The father had also viewed some websites that advocated against having children and others that detailed how people die in hot cars, the detective testified.

Join the discussion

1000|Char. 1000  Char.
c_grace24 July 11 2014 at 8:54 AM

If people were dumb enough to donate without knowing all of the facts, they should not be given their money back. This is ridiculous. Take the money and donate it to St. Jude's or something that will actually make a difference.

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14 replies
dennismlns July 11 2014 at 8:34 AM

I personally think that this guy should be strapped into a car in a car paint bake booth and crank that sucker up! it isw no more cruel and unusual that what he did to that child.

Flag Reply +32 rate up
7 replies
elletb July 11 2014 at 9:41 AM

A hot car for him to die in before he burns in hell forever. Just in case there isn't such a place, he needs to suffer as much as possible, a long, slow and painful death before he expires. What a horrid invidual, sub human.

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2 replies
katydid579 elletb July 11 2014 at 10:15 AM

How xtian of you.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
Cathy elletb July 11 2014 at 10:34 AM

I find it extremely difficult to comprehend that a person/parent would "forget" they have their kid in the back seat. I cannot seem to wrap my head around it. I have two children, now grown, but even when they were little and those were crazy days, I never, never, ever forgot my kids in the back seat. How is this possible? I don't know. I just do not think for one minute a parent would do this, it's impossible. Again, I am dumbfounded.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
5 replies
JRivers July 11 2014 at 9:43 AM

Why was a fund even set up? The child was dead, there should not have been any medical expenses. This is what, your child died, here's ten dollars or a hundred or a thousand? If the child had survived and was in intensive care I could understand the setting up of a fund.

Flag Reply +22 rate up
7 replies
chaparel July 11 2014 at 10:02 AM

The courts, not PayPal, should seize those funds, and donate them to the Cobb Co. PD for their work in the case. I don't think the people that sent him the money should get any back. If you're dumb enough to have send money, you should lose it, and this would allow it to better serve the community in some way.

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7 replies
lewisj1965 July 11 2014 at 9:05 AM

For those who must "DO SOMETHING" so quickly, so little information; you're so foolish. A characteristic best to no one, except those who will gloat about "the help THEY supplied" to whatever cause is "trending" that particular moment... One is born every second, just to update everyone... jpl

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3 replies
sachfoxo July 11 2014 at 10:01 AM

The Punishment should start of with Justin Ross Harris being tied in a car on a day where it is over 110 Degrees for 7 hours with no water and restrained . Then the trial should begin. This man needs to know what torture he put that little boy through . The wife said at the Nursery and basically the nurse who told this to police , " He must have left him in the car " !!!!!!!!!!! HUH She also said to Justin " You didn't say too much did you " ?????? This is just the beginning of a Horrid Story. ( Looking at Porno flix as his Boy was Dying. ) Gzz . A Fund For What ? The poor boy is dead !!

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2 replies
lwainscot sachfoxo July 11 2014 at 11:04 AM

So you think the parents conspired to leave the boy to die in the car, and collect his insurance? That explains why the wife hired a lawyer for herself, doesn't it?

I think this just goes to prove how little life is worth to some people, and how cold hearted and calloused they really are.

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3 replies
jdenningj sachfoxo July 11 2014 at 11:24 AM

The wife knows something and I think she is involved.

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Blank For reason July 11 2014 at 9:00 AM

The hell he is going to pay in prison, he will never be able to sleep or move around in the yard with out fear of a attack. He will be their prey forever.
This is if he is found guilty. If not he will still be hounded by those they know.

Flag Reply +12 rate up
rwitchwoman63 July 11 2014 at 9:36 AM

There's an old saying...."There is a sucker born every minute."....How's it feel suckers!!!!

Flag Reply +9 rate up
4 replies
taostop July 11 2014 at 9:42 AM

Society is sick when people start donating without knowing all the facts. It's so easy to jump to conclusions without waiting to here details. Giving money to them is let settle lawsuits for the criminals in the jail.

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6 replies
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