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Police describe conditions inside SUV after toddler's death

FILE- This Oct. 3, 2016, file photo shows Justin Ross Harris listening to jury selection during his trial at the Glynn County Courthouse in Brunswick, Ga. The trial of Harris, accused of intentionally leaving his toddler son in a hot SUV to die, is being put on hold as Hurricane Matthew heads toward the Georgia coast where he is being prosecuted. Multiple news outlets report a judge said the trial of Justin Ross Harris would be in recess Thursday and Friday and then resume Monday. (Stephen B. Morton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, Pool, File)
October 12, 2016 - 3:02 PM

BRUNSWICK, Ga. - A police officer testified Wednesday that he smelled "the odour of death" emanating from the SUV where 22-month-old Cooper Harris died in the heat.

Testimony resumed Wednesday in the trial of Justin Ross Harris, after court proceedings in the coastal Georgia city of Brunswick were delayed because of Hurricane Matthew.

Prosecutors contend that Harris intended to kill his son, and he faces a murder charge in the boy's death. Defence lawyers say it was an accident.

Police have said they believe Harris would have noticed the smell immediately as he drove home from work with his dead son in a back seat, but kept driving for several blocks before pulling over.

"Normally, I'd associate (the smell) with death," Carey Grimstead, a former crime scene investigator, told jurors, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported (http://on-ajc.com/2dwWkBB ).

The inside of the car "smelled like the odour of death," Cobb County police Capt. James Ferrell testified.

Prosecutors say Harris left his son for hours inside the vehicle as it was parked outside his workplace in Cobb County, just northwest of Atlanta.

Harris faces life in prison if convicted of murder.

Pretrial publicity prompted the trial's move to Brunswick, 275 miles from the Atlanta suburbs.

Harris moved from Tuscaloosa, Alabama to Georgia in 2012 to take a job with The Home Depot's corporate offices in Cobb County.

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This story has been corrected to show that the delay was caused by Hurricane Matthew, not Hurricane Andrew.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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