Six more witnesses testified on Tuesday for a total of 36, thus far, assuming my count is right. (If anyone has a different total, please let me know!) As I see it, there’s conflicting evidence about Harris. He certainly seemed to have little emotion for someone who was responsible for his son’s death–whether you believe Cooper’s death was murder or a terrible accident. Then, again, some of the State’s motive evidence, like visiting a Reddit link about a “childfree” life, turned out to be pretty innocuous, if you believe the witness yesterday who said he sent it to Harris and that Harris responded: “grossness.” Moreover, a number of witnesses have testified that Harris loved his son. But how did he miss seeing his son in the car at lunch? Hopefully, the testimony in the coming weeks will help clarify the issues for the jury.
A brief summary of today’s witnesses follows:
31. Martin Jackson, Cobb County ME’s office, Forensic Technician
Jackson is an investigator with the Cobb County Medical Examiner’s Office. Among his responsibilities is to work in the lab with the doctors, assist with autopsies, go to the scene to investigate, document the scene, and more.
Jackson described going to the scene where he found Cooper laying on the hot pavement. Jackson got the call at 17:17 that day and arrived at 17:50.
Moderate rigor mortis had set in with Cooper which meant he could manipulate Cooper’s limbs a bit. The autopsy was performed the next day. Jackson said the Cooper’s mother Leanna was not cooperative in releasing her son’s medical records so he obtained the records via subpoena.
32. Brian Frist, Cobb County Medical Examiner
Frist described the external examination of Cooper; there were some abrasions on him.
The internal human body temperature averages 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. At seven degrees higher, the cells can’t function correctly, one loses bodily functions and regulation of bodily temperature, the liver and kidneys malfunction, and death follows.
Cooper’s cause of death was hyperthermia resulting from excessive heat in the car. Frist initially stated that the manner of death was undetermined. After learning what the police investigation revealed, he changed it to homicide. Frist opined that Cooper may have been alive at lunch when his father dropped off a bag of light bulbs in the car.
33. Greg Sanders, Home Depot employee, Security Operations Manager
Sanders pulled video from the day Cooper died. Jurors saw grainy video of the beginning and end of Harris’s work day, as well as Harris stopping at his vehicle at lunch to drop off light bulbs.
34. Larry Lewellen, GBI Crime Lab
There is no evidence Cooper was drugged.
35. Kasey Wilson, State Crime Lab, toxicologist
There was no alcohol in Cooper’s system.
36. Mark Wilson, owner of a piano moving company
Wilson met Harris in the holding area of the Cobb County jail where they talked for 2-3 hours. Wilson described Harris as nonchalant; he didn’t appear sad; and he didn’t seem like someone who just lost his son. Harris didn’t tell Wilson why he was there. Jurors saw video of the holding area where the two men were seated next to each other. Wilson sold his story about meeting Harris that day to the National Enquirer for $2000.
Testimony resumes in the morning at 8:30 a.m. ET.