UPDATED: Judge denies bail; Justin Ross Harris case evidence suggests he sexted six women while son died in hot car
Bombshell accusations have stunned the public during a probable cause hearing for the Georgia father who left his 22-month-old son, Cooper, in a hot car for seven hours while he went to work on June 18. Testimony began at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday afternoon in a packed courtroom.
"Justin Ross Harris messaged six women, sending and receiving explicit texts -- some including nude images -- from work while his 22-month-old was dying in a hot car, a detective testified Thursday in the father's hearing on murder and child cruelty charges," reports CNN. One of the women was a 17 year old minor.
"A prosecutor insisted the testimony helped portray the defendant's state of mind and spoke to the negligence angle in the case," further reports CNN. Due to the hearing's nature, the judge allowed Cobb County, Georgia, police Detective Phil Stoddard to continue, despite Harris' attorney objecting.
Throughout his shift, while allegedly sexting, Ross not only received an email from his son's day care in regards to the child's absence, he also alarmingly went to his own car, where Cooper was left, to place light bulbs inside. If Cooper was accidentally left in the car, neither of these two incidents alerted Harris to check.
Stoddard also said Harris reportedly acted erratically while approaching witnesses for help, once he found his lifeless toddler. "When a witness told Harris his son needed CPR, Harris went to the other side of his vehicle and made a phone call, apparently to tell someone his son was dead, a witness told police, according to Stoddard," details CNN. "The detective further alleged that Harris told police he couldn't reach anyone on his telephone, but phone records show that Harris made three calls, and one between him and his employer lasted six minutes, Stoddard said."
"The detective further told the court that he felt Harris was a flight risk because he had law enforcement experience and no family in Georgia," details CNN. "Stoddard also expressed concern that Harris had a 'second life he's living, with alternate personalities and alternate personas.'"
The courtroom seating was full Thursday afternoon, with an estimated 20 additional people standing. Harris' wife was in attendance.
According to CNN, "At the probable cause hearing, a judge will determine whether there's enough evidence to support charges of murder and second-degree child cruelty against Harris. If prosecutors are successful in making their case to the judge, it will proceed to a grand jury, where the district attorney will seek an indictment."
Harris previously pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and second-degree child cruelty. He will now face a grand jury.
An additional felony charge of sexual exploitation of a minor and a misdemeanor charge for illegal contact with a minor is a possibility after explicit texts were found between Harris and the 17-year-old.
Harris also denied bail.