The Latest: Defence opening delayed in hot car death trial

BRUNSWICK, Ga. - The Latest on the trial of a Georgia man charged with murder after his toddler son died in hot SUV (all times local):

5:30 p.m.

Defence attorneys will have to wait before giving their opening statement in the trial of a Georgia man charged with murder after his toddler son died in a hot SUV.

Superior Court Judge Mary Staley Clark recessed court late Monday afternoon following a 90-minute delay in the proceedings after prosecutors gave an outline of their case to the jury. She said attorneys for Justin Ross Harris will have their turn Tuesday morning.

The judge did not give the reason for the delay.

Harris is charged with murder in the June 2014 death of his 22-month-old son, Cooper. Prosecutors say Harris intentionally left his son to die as he sought to escape his family responsibilities so he could focus on pursuing sexual relationships with prostitutes and women he met online.

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3:40 p.m.

A prosecutor said a Georgia man accused of leaving his son in a hot SUV to die killed the toddler because he was living a double life and trying to escape his responsibilities.

Cobb County prosecutor Chuck Boring said in his opening statement that minutes before Harris left 22-month-old Cooper in the car, Harris had posted an online message saying, "I love my son and all, but we both need escapes."

Boring also said the facts of the case "only make sense if the defendant had planned on intentionally killing his son."

Prosecutors say Harris intentionally killed the boy by leaving him for hours in a vehicle parked outside the father's metro Atlanta workplace in June 2014.

Attorneys for Harris, who moved to Georgia from Alabama in 2012, say the death was a tragic accident.

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11 a.m.

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.

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5:30 a.m.

More than two years after a Georgia toddler died after being left for hours inside a hot SUV, the child's father is scheduled to stand trial for murder.

The trial of Justin Ross Harris is expected to last several weeks in coastal Brunswick, where it was moved 275 miles outside of metro Atlanta because of pretrial publicity. Harris' 22-month-old son, Cooper, died in June 2014.

The judge Monday plans to seat a final jury from a pool of 45 people deemed qualified earlier this month. Afterward, attorneys are expected to make opening statements.

Prosecutors have said Harris, who moved to Georgia from Alabama in 2012, was unhappy in his marriage and seeking other relationships at the time his son died. Harris' attorneys say the death was a tragic accident.

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