'Conspiracy theories' presented on intense day of cross-examination

'Conspiracy theories' in Ross Harris trial

More tense exchanges in court on Wednesday as lawyers from both sides in the Ross Harris trial argue about police motives.

But Thursday will mark one of the more difficult days in court, as jurors step outside the courthouse to view Ross Harris’ SUV, and the placement of the booster seat inside the rear of the vehicle.

That’s where young Cooper Harris was strapped in when he was found on that June day. 

The jury will be allowed to view the SUV early Thursday morning, before testimony begins for the day.

After more than three days of, at times, intense testimony and cross-examination, Cobb County Police Detective Phil Stoddard, the lead investigator on the case finally stepped down from the stand late Wednesday morning.

The next witness, Detective David Raissi is also with the Cobb County Police Department. He worked with Stoddard during the Harris investigation, and answered several questions regarding the Harris interview process.

After lunch on Wednesday, video analyzer Walter Pineda took the stand. After examining enhanced video from Home Depot, he could discern movement in Harris' vehicle. The defense suggested that only Pineda, due to his experience, was able to make those determinations, but he said otherwise.

Tuesday proved to be an intense day of cross-examination between lead defense attorney Maddox Kilgore and lead detective Phil Stoddard.

Stoddard took the stand for a third day as the prosecution continued to build their case upon Ross Harris leading a double life.

Evidence that was brought to the jury yesterday raised some eyebrows as detective Stoddard read notes from a church service Harris had taken in his phone. Stoddard also read explicit messages in which Harris told another woman he likes to cheat and revealed to the jury how photos of Harris’ gentiles shared the same gallery as photos of his son Cooper.

During cross-examinations, defense attorney Kilgore made points about Harris being a loving and caring father to his son Cooper. Kilgore questioned Stoddard if his investigators found any evidence of abuse to which Stoddard responded, “Besides the actual death? … Nobody reported to me any history of abuse or neglect.”

Kilgore also claims that Stoddard misinterpreted a message in Harris’ phone. Initially the detective stated that it read “Desire is greater than sin, is greater than death.” Stoddard later admitted that the messaged could also be read as “Desire leads to sin, leads to death.”

The jury will expect to hear more from detective Phil Stoddard as the defense continues to poke holes in his statements. They will also get the chance to view Harris’ SUV with Cooper’s car seat inside, two vital forms of evidence in this case.

Ross Harris faces a number of charges, including malice murder and felony murder in the June 2014 death of his young son, Cooper. The 22-month-old was found dead in the backseat of Harris' SUV. The defense argues the incident was a tragic accident.

PHOTOS | Ross Harris Hot Car Death Trial - Day 14

 

 

Access previous stories and get in-depth analysis on the Ross Harris trial by clicking here. 

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(© 2016 WXIA)


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