Man Accused of Leaving Son to Die in Hot SUV Barred from Funeral
(MARIETTA, Ga.) -- The man accused of killing his 22-month-old son by leaving him in a sweltering hot SUV for seven hours was not allowed to attend the boy's funeral Saturday.
Instead, Justin Harris listened to Cooper Harris' memorial service via phone from his jail cell in Marietta, Georgia.
Harris has pleaded not guilty to felony murder and child cruelty charges
The case has made national headlines as some have sided with Harris, believing his story that he completely forgot about the boy when he went to work in the morning and only discovered the child's lifeless body when he returned after work.
However, supporters have backed away from their online petition after police raised doubts about the father's account of the incident. Police revealed that Harris allegedly had returned to his vehicle during his workday, and also drove a short distance after work before supposedly realizing his son was in the car. Police did not say how they know that.
There are also reports that Harris, 33, researched child deaths in hot cars on the Internet, according to warrant, claiming that he was worried it could happen to his son.
"I think that based on recent developments this petition is no longer relevant," read a note on the Change.org petition originally launched to help Justin Harris.
The petition was closed after reaching more than 11,000 signatures from people who believed Harris had "loved his son immensely" and didn't deserve to be charged with murder for "a horrible accident."
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