Father gets life for son’s hot car death

MIAMI: A man from the US state of Georgia got life in prison without possibility of parole yesterday for leaving his toddler son to die in a hot car while he sent sexually explicit messages from his office.

Justin Ross Harris, 36, was given the maximum sentence after lead prosecutor Chuck Boring said 22-month-old Cooper Harris perished in "the most torturous, horrific, unimaginable way possible".

Harris has said that he forgot to drop his son off at daycare on June 18, 2014 and didn't realise he had left the boy strapped into his car seat until after he had driven for a few minutes after leaving work.

Prosecutors had argued that Harris wanted to be free of family responsibilities.

An investigation revealed that Harris had made internet searches about life without children and how to survive prison, and watched videos of animals dying in cars in the sun.

In an unexpected twist to the case, a police detective said Harris had texted sexually explicit messages to six women, one of them as young as 17, while his son was baking to his death.

A jury three weeks ago found him guilty of charges including malice murder, cruelty to children and sexual exploitation of children – in reference to the teenage woman he texted.

In addition to the life term for the murder charge, Cobb County superior court judge Mary Staley Clark tacked on 32 years for the other crimes. – AFP