Day 10 of testimony in Justin Ross Harris’s trial was all about the women he was communicating with before and on the day Cooper died. The last witness of the day, Jaynie Meadows, said that she and Harris were in love though it ended some months before Cooper’s death. Could Harris’s feelings for Meadows be the reason the State said in opening statements that Harris was spiraling downward in the weeks before Cooper’s death?
A summary of today’s witnesses:
40. Ronson Bridges Smith, Detective, Cobb County PD, High Tech Crimes Unit
Det. Smith returned to the stand to continue his testimony begun yesterday. He described more details about the data he extracted from Harris’s cell phone. One exchange with a woman displayed for the jury had Harris texting: “I bet sex with you is amazing.” The woman responded: “lol ive been told so.” Harris responded: “Sadly I can’t experience it.” This was while he was at Chik-fil-A with Cooper on June 18, 2014.
41. Alexandra Swindell, had sex with Harris
Swindell met Harris on the app Skout where the two exchanged sexual messages and photos.. Swindell admitted meeting him in person and performing oral sex on Harris in 2012 in a car though she says she didn’t know he was married at the time. He also never mentioned his son.
On June 15, 2014, they had a chat conversation. On June 18, 2014, Harris and she had a sexual text conversation. The first message was sent at 1:17 pm by Swindell. Harris responded within 10 seconds. (NOTE: This would be about a half hour after Harris stopped at his car to drop off the light bulbs. It would also likely be about the time of death of Cooper.)
On cross, Swindell said she knew Harris as Justin (not Ross).
42. Molly Sims, exchanged sex chats with Harris
Sims met Harris on the Skout and Kik apps and exchanged sexual chats over the course of two years. Harris told her he was married though he never mentioned having a child. Sims tried to have non-sexual conversations with Harris but he wouldn’t comply. When he continued to contact her, she eventually deleted the app.
43. Elizabeth Smith, exchanged sex chats with Harris
She sexted often—even daily—with Harris on the app Kik, including on June 18, 2014. Harris had previously sent her a photo of Cooper and him at a Braves game in Aparil 2014. She connected with Harris once in a parking lot. Harris also told Smith that he would never leave his wife.
44. Jaynie Meadows, 21 years old, was once in love with Harris
Meadows first met Harris whom she knew as Ross in 2013 on a dating site (the app Skout); she was 18. She had had a recent bad breakup with a boyfriend. He called her the first day and they spoke for about three hours. Harris told her he was 25 years old. They would text, talk on the phone, and use the app Kik exchange sexually explicit photos. Harris also sent a sexual video and three songs he played on the guitar.
Meadows said she fell in love with Harris. He told her he loved her also. She didn’t know where he worked. After a month, she became attached to him then he told her about his marriage and child. “We played a game: 2 truths and a lie. He said: I’m married, I have a kid and the 3rd was his age. She guessed one of them and he said—no, they’re all three truths.” Meadows said she was taken aback.
In hindsight, she realized signs were there–he would only call or text at certain times of the day: 5 am until afternoon then a call at 7 or 8. The communication, however, continued. She eventually met him in August 2013. She kissed Harris but nothing more. Harris then had to pick up Cooper. This was her last physical contact with Harris. But, emotionally, she stayed attached to him—–they proclaimed their love for each other. He told her he was having marital problems—financial, families didn’t get along, he fought with Leanna over small things. Harris would talk about Cooper also—–how much he loved him and wouldn’t do anything to hurt him. He would also send her photos of Cooper.
“I was never a fan of the sexual stuff. By March of 2014, I had met someone so it dropped off.” Harris would send sexual stuff and she would get angry with him. He would get upset and wonder why she didn’t like it. This continued throughout their relationship. She believed he was still in love with her and she still had some feelings for him.
From the witness stand, Meadows identified several photos and chats between Harris and her. Harris used to say that if it weren’t for Cooper, he would leave Leanna. When she got a boyfriend, Harris wasn’t really happy but the guy she dated “wasn’t the best of the bunch.”
Dec. 2013, and into February and March 2014 and even after she got a boyfriend, he would message her early in the morning. He would tell her he loved her. Harris never said he had a problem hearing Cooper in the car. As June 2014 approached, their contact was less. In one text he said it was hard letting go of her (or something to that effect).
June 9 he sent: “???” There was more communication on June 10. On June 11, “Oops it looks like Jaynie’s phone is disconnected…” A few days later, she messaged him and asked him to call her. She would call him on his work phone (which he preferred) in the prior months. If she called his personal phone, she had to block her number. Harris would also send photos of Leanna to Meadows during this time.
June 2, 2014 at 6:09 am he texted: “Morning.” She had cut off the app. He sent “??” some days later. She finally responded on June 13. She asked if he hated her and he said not at all; just miss you. On June 15, more communication. On June 17, Harris sent a message. She had not responded to the 15th. “Where’d you go again? That makes me sad.” He tried one more time to reach her on June 18, 2014 at 5:46 am.
The last photo he sent her of Cooper was in April or May 2014.
On cross, Meadows admitted that Harris said he would never leave Leanna because he loved Cooper too much. He never said anything about Cooper holding him back.
The trial will continue tomorrow at 8:30 am ET with more witnesses from the State.