(CNN) – The Georgia father who left his young son in a hot car in 2014 has been found guilty of the boy’s murder. A jury says Justin Ross Harris intentionally locked his son Cooper inside the car for seven hours as he sexted with several women and a minor. Cooper Harris was 22 months old.
Harris explained that he didn’t remember his sleeping son was in the backseat, saying, “I went to work as if he wasn’t even in the back and I probably didn’t even hear him because he falls asleep really easily when you drive the car.”
Prosecutors argued Harris wanted to be free of his family. As the toddler died strapped inside his car seat, Harris texted sexual messages to six women, including a minor.
Cobb County G.A. Prosecutor Chuck Boring said, “I love my son and all, but we both need escapes. Those words were uttered 10 minutes before this defendant, with selfish abandon and a malignant heart did exactly that.”
Over four days, the jury of six men and six women deliberated for 21 hours. They considered testimony of 70 witnesses and more than 11,000 pieces of evidence, including surveillance video of Harris tossing light bulbs into his car after lunch the day his son died.
In the first meeting between Harris and his ex-wife, Leanna Taylor, just hours after Cooper’s death, Harris said, “I know it was useless but I tried to save him.”
Taylor responded with, “I know baby.”
Harris walked out of the courtroom as a convicted killer. He now faces life in prison.