Hot car death: Father charged with toddler's murder

Justin Ross Harris, the father of a toddler who died after police say he was left in a hot car for about seven hours, wipes his eye as he sits during his bond hearing in Cobb County Magistrate Court, 3 July 2014 Justin Ross Harris wipes his eyes during a hearing in July

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A Georgia man whose son died after he left him in a hot car for seven hours has been charged with murder.

Among the charges against Justin Ross Harris was malice murder, which means prosecutors allege he intentionally left his 22-month-old son to die.

The child died of hyperthermia as his body overheated amid outside temperatures of almost 90F (32C).

Mr Harris's lawyer has said the death was a "tragic accident" as the father forgot his son was in the vehicle.

He told police he was supposed to drop his son at a nursery but drove to work instead and forgot the toddler was in the back seat.

The indictment also charges Mr Harris of dissemination of harmful materials to a minor and accuses him of a requesting a nude photo from a teenage girl.

Cobb County police investigate an SUV where a toddler died Wednesday, June 18, 2014, near Marietta, Ga., when the father forgot to drop his child off at day care and went to work. A medical examiner said the 22-month-old died after overheating

During an earlier hearing, Cobb County Police Detective Phil Stoddard testified Mr Harris was sitting in his office exchanging nude photos with several women, including a teenage minor, on the day his son died.

Mr Stoddard also told the grand jury panel Mr Harris had researched online how long and what temperature it would take to die in a hot car and looked at websites advocating a child-free lifestyle.

Defence lawyer Maddox Kilgore said that was irrelevant to the case and a defence witness said Mr Harris appeared to be distraught when he realised his son had died, and was trying to resuscitate him.

Mr Harris has been in jail since his arrest on 18 June, the same day of his son's death.

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