Georgia man gets life in prison for toddler's 'hot car' murder

ATLANTA (Reuters) - A Georgia man was sentenced on Monday to life in prison plus 32 years for intentionally leaving his toddler son to die inside a sweltering sport utility vehicle on a summer day.

A jury of six men and six women convicted Justin Ross Harris, 35, last month on all eight counts in the June 2014 death of his 22-month-old son, Cooper.

Jurors found the former Home Depot web developer guilty of felony murder, and first- and second-degree cruelty to a child for leaving the boy in the hot car. He was also convicted of criminal attempt to commit sexual exploitation of a child because of explicit texts he had sent to a teenage girl.

Related: Father sentenced in son's 'hot car' murder

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Wearing an orange jumpsuit in the courtroom, Harris looked exhausted and said only "yes" and "no" in response to questions from Cobb County Superior Court Judge Mary Staley Clark before she imposed the sentence.

His defense lawyers declined to offer any evidence to mitigate his sentence at Monday's session. During the trial, the defense described him as a flawed but God-fearing man who loved his only child. They said he simply forgot to take his son to his daycare center after a father-and-son breakfast.

After the conviction, prosecutors said justice had been served for a child who was left to die so Harris could have a child-free lifestyle and pursue other women, including teenagers and prostitutes.

(Editing by Frank McGurty, Matthew Lewis and Jeffrey Benkoe)

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