You can see Justin Ross Harris reliving the moment he pulled his son out of the car on June 18 at the July 3 probable cause hearing in Cobb County, Georgia, for the hot car death of his son Cooper Harris. It is all over his face. As Detective Phil Stoddard for Cobb County, Georgia, describes what happened in that moment, and the condition of 22-month-old Cooper Harris after being left in a hot car for over 7 hours, Ross Harris’s initially deadpan face begins to tremble, his eyes started quivering, and he struggles to keep it together. On occasion, he would reach down to his shackled wrists to wipe away a tear that fought its way out of the strength Ross Harris attempted to exude. Many thought that the rare and incongruent emotions displayed by Ross Harris at this hearing only occurred when his own negligence was discussed. USA Today reported yesterday on July 17 that a man that shared a holding cell with Justin Ross Harris on the day Cooper Harris died also had some peculiar observations about the emotional state of Ross Harris. The Atlanta Journal Constitution also reported on July 17 another peculiar advancement in this case regarding the mother of the victim Leanna Harris.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution also reported yesterday that Cooper’s mother Leanna Harris is looking to meet a high profile defamation lawyer. It seems that Leanna Harris is unhappy with the peculiar observations from the court of public opinion over her own emotional state and on her own behavior.
The probable cause hearing that occurred on July 3 for Justin Ross Harris was the first time anyone saw emotion from the father that lost his child at his own negligence. It only went downhill for Justin Ross Harris from there at this hearing for the felony murder and child cruelty charges Justin Ross Hunter now faces after the hot car death of his son Cooper Harris in Cobb County, Georgia, June 18.
Initially support for the Harris family was strong. Their church was behind them. Justin’s company Home Depot paid for Cooper’s funeral. And a fundraising page was even established to assist this grieving family through a troubling time.
All of that is gone. Ross Harris is unemployed. The monies from the fundraising page are being returned. Leanna Harris has left the state. And it’s not just the state of Georgia that finds the behavior of the parents of this hot car death victim strange. All of America does.
And, according to USA Today yesterday, they are not alone. USA Today reported yesterday that a man that shared a holding cell in the Cobb County Jail with Justin Ross Harris on the day that Cooper died, also noted some peculiar behaviors coming from a man whose child had just died. The inmate, known as Mark Wilson, was arrested on a DUI charge on the same day that Ross Harris was arrested on charges related to the hot car death of his son Cooper.
Mark Wilson has since secured a contract with the National Enquirer, according to USA Today to speak exclusively about his experiences while in the holding cell with Ross Harris. In his interview with the National Enquirer, Mark stated that the man “showed no emotion after his arrest.”
Mark Wilson told USA Today that being under contract by National Enquirer, he was not able to say too much. He was however able to confirm his DUI, and that the quotes he made in the National Enquirer are his, and accurate. In the article Wilson discusses his brief encounter with what many believe to be the most hated father in America.
Mark told the National Enquirer that Ross Harris “chatted him up” and that he was not acting “like a man who had just recently lost his son.” He said,
“There was no emotion whatsoever in his voice, attitude – anything. There was just no sadness in how he was acting. I just don’t see how someone, a father, could act completely normal and calm in a situation like that, especially like, two, three hours after the whole thing happened. It was a little weird.”
Mark Wilson was released from Cobb County Jail the day after Cooper’s death. When he got home on June 19 and began to watch the news, Mark had an “Ah Hah” moment over the man that had befriended him in the Cobb County holding cell.
Mark Wilson is not the only person in America to call the behavior of the Harris family “a little weird” since the death of their son. All of America, the media, and the court of public opinion has been talking about how weird this family has behaved since this tragedy. The world has been talking so much about this in fact that the mother of the victim, Leanna Harris has secured a criminal defense attorney and put him to work to ask him to ask the world to leave her alone.
It was previously reported by the Toronto Relationships Examiner that Leanna Harris had hired a criminal defense attorney who was death penalty certified to help her handle the aftermath of the death of her son. But the aftermath is not the only thing she needs help with, as the police have presented her suspicious behavior as evidence in their investigation into the hot car death of Cooper Harris.
It is this evidence presented by Detective Stoddard that has people talking so widely about this case. But Leanna Harris wants that to stop, and had her lawyer write an open letter to the world this week condemning the court of public opinion for “fostering a poisonous atmosphere” against Justin Ross Harris, and against Leanna Harris.
NBC News reported it as number 3 in their top 10 stories this week. Representing Leanna Harris, criminal defense attorney Lawrence Zimmerman wrote,
“Newspapers, television and online media have fostered a poisonous atmosphere in which Leanna’s every word, action and emotion … is scrutinized for some supposed hidden meaning.”
In his letter, Lawrence Zimmerman also compared Leanna Harris to Richard Jewell. Richard Jewell was wrongfully implicated in a bombing that occurred in Centennial Olympic Park. Yesterday the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported that Leanna’s lawyer even wants her to meet with the lawyer in that case. The lawyer in that case is a defamation lawyer.
The lawyer, a Lin Wood, told the Atlanta Journal Constitution by email yesterday,
“I have been asked by Lawrence Zimmerman to meet with him and Ms. Harris.”
Lin Wood is a defamation lawyer who represented Richard Jewell in the bombing that occurred in Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, Georgia, during the 1996 Olympic Games. With Lin Wood by his side, Jewell attempted to sue the Atlanta Journal Constitution and other media outlets for naming him as a suspect in the 1996 bombing.
It was a suit that was quickly dismissed, even at the level of appeals. The Court of Appeals of Georgia upheld the original ruling in the trial courts that the Atlanta Journal Constitution had accurately reported the facts of the case at the time.
Jewell is not the only high profile suspect that Lin Wood has represented. He has also represented other parents accused of being involved in a tragedy related to their child. Lin Wood has represented the parents of Jon Benet Ramsey. He’s also represented politicians in the way of a former Congressman Gary Condit, as well as the 2012 Presidential candidate Herman Cain.
If Leanna Harris had hired a high profile family lawyer in the wake of this disaster, that would make sense. But, a high profile defamation lawyer in a murder investigation? Now that’s an interesting, and unusual, turn of events.
A child has died, his father is being accused of murder, and the biggest thing that Leanna Harris is concerned about is not….that the father of the child was cheating on her with as many as 6 and maybe even more women while her child was dying.
What she is concerned about is not the fact that one of those women was allegedly a minor, and had been exchanging nude pictures with her husband for at least a year.
What it appears that Leanna Harris is concerned most about, is people saying too much.
There has been a very divided reaction in the court of public opinion since Leanna Harris broke her silence for the first time since the death of her 22-month-old son Cooper Harris. In the letter it was requested that the press and the court of public opinions stop the presses on the speculations, and stop talking about her period. The letter also detailed some very specific griefs that she is currently suffering after the loss of her 22-month-old son Cooper Harris. The reactions to that letter have been mixed.
Some people shied away from the grieving mother.
Some people got louder, wondering why isn’t Leanna Harris as upset as we are?
Some people are wondering why is the Harris family more concerned about what we’re saying about her than about fighting for justice for Cooper Harris?
Some people are wondering why she didn’t even say it herself, why did she have her lawyer do it? Because there’s nothing America loves more than having a lawyer tell them to suppress their own First Amendment rights.
To some, for a moment there it almost felt like back in the school ground days when the bullies told you to be quiet about everything until you got to the Principal’s office to see what they really had on you.
All America is saying in these wild speculations and accusations is, “we don’t get it.”
All America is saying with these speculations and accusations is that, most of the time when a grieving mother’s case garners national attention, that mother usually wants as much light on the case and wants as much power and strength given to her baby’s voice as possible until justice is served.
When it comes to Leanna Harris, America is not seeing that.
America is simply saying we don’t get it.
America is simply saying, we don’t get why instead of using this opportunity to give as much strength to a baby’s voice as possible under this national spotlight, Leanna Harris is still worried about who is saying too much.
America is also saying, who says “please stop talking about me” during a murder investigation?
All America is wondering is, who is fighting for that child?
It is not the court of public opinion that pointed a finger at Leanna Harris as exhibiting some strange behaviors. It was the lead detective on this case, Detective Phil Stoddard who told the courts that her behavior was not consistent with the normal behavior that follows the death of a child. And it is not just the lead detective that feels this way.
In the days immediately following the death of Cooper Harris, Sergeant Dana Pierce of the Cobb County Police Department told USA Today,
“What I know about this case shocks my conscience as a police officer, a father, and a grandfather.”
At the time of press, Leanna Harris has not been charged with any crime, but she has retained a criminal defense attorney who is death penalty certified. This news has also fueled the speculation against Leanna Harris, because not many people in America hire defense lawyers unless they are a defendant, or suspect they might be one. It’s the same reason people don’t hire family lawyers, or any other lawyer for that matter, unless they suspect they might need one.
All of this information combined is what has caused the public outcry in this case. America did not come up with this on their own out of hate and malice towards someone they have never met. America is grieving the unnecessary death of a child, and fighting for justice for that child, because it seems like the two people who are supposed to fight the hardest for that little boy…just aren’t.
Has the world’s opinion of Leanna Harris changed since her lawyer wrote that letter? Will it change for the better if her new lawyer tries to sue people for exercising their First Amendment rights?