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A Georgia father, released from prison a decade after his toddler died in a hot car, has been taken to the county jail

Cobb police investigate an SUV where the toddler died (Via Tim Morrison/Getty Images)

A Georgia father has been released from prison ten years after his toddler died in a hot car, a case that gained global attention when prosecutors accused him of murder.

Justin Ross Harris was released from Macon State Prison on Sunday, which also happened to be Father’s Day, according to records from the Georgia Department of Corrections. He had started serving his sentence on December 6, 2016.

Following his release from state prison, he was then booked into Cobb County Jail later that same day, as reported by jail records. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution mentioned he might serve the remaining two years of his sentences in the county facility.

Harris had moved from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to the Atlanta area for work in 2012. He told police that on the morning of June 18, 2014, he forgot to drop off his 22-month-old son Cooper at day care. Instead, he drove straight to his job at The Home Depot as a web developer, leaving the child in his car seat.

Tragically, Cooper died after being left for approximately seven hours in the back seat of his father’s Hyundai Tucson SUV outside the office in suburban Atlanta, where temperatures that day had climbed into the high 80s.

Justin Harris listens in his trial (Via Tim Morrison/Getty Images)

During the trial, prosecutors suggested that Harris, unhappy in his marriage, deliberately killed his son to escape. They presented evidence of his extramarital affairs, including explicit messages and photos exchanged with women and girls, some of whom he had met for sexual encounters.

In November 2016, Harris was found guilty on eight charges, including malice murder. He was sentenced to life without parole, plus an additional 32 years in prison for other offenses.

However, in June 2022, the Georgia Supreme Court voted 6-3 to overturn his convictions for murder and child cruelty, citing the jury’s exposure to evidence that was deemed highly prejudicial and unfair.

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