Ex-Wife of 'Hot Car Dad' Speaks Out After Guilty Verdict: 'The Problem Is Not the Parent!'
The ex-wife of a Georgia man convicted of murdering their 22-month-old son, who died after being left for hours in his dad’s hot car, has spoken out about the verdict, saying "justice" will never bring back her boy.
After Justin Ross Harris was found guilty Monday on all counts in the death of her son Cooper Harris, Leanna Taylor took to social media to rail against society and the judgement she has faced since the toddler’s death.
“For those of you who want to know if I am ok. The answer is no. I have not been ‘ok’ since the moment I was told my son was dead. I have not been ‘ok’ since the moment my life was put on this path that has led to Ross being found guilty of maliciously murdering our child,” Taylor wrote in a Facebook post obtained by WXIA-TV.
“So now you may be saying ‘justice has been served.’ And you are allowed your right to that opinion,” she continued. “But guess what, you can convict every parent that this has ever happened to, and I can promise you 2 things...#1 it will never bring our children back and #2 it will not prevent this from happening in the future.“
Little Cooper Harris died on June 18, 2014, when his father — her husband at the time — left him in his SUV outside his office for nearly seven hours.
Harris spent the day at The Home Depot corporate headquarters where he worked, claiming to only realize he left his son in his back car seat when he left work for the day to go to a movie.
Witnesses said Harris appeared distraught and was screaming, but detectives testified the father seemed too calm when answering questions after his son’s death.
Though a jury found her husband guilty of malice murder, which means Harris must have shown conscious intent to cause death or great bodily harm to Cooper, Taylor appeared in her post to point to a different reason for her son’s death.
“Next summer, as this begins to happen over and over again, ask yourself, 'what can be done?!' The problem is not the parent! The problem is a society that refuses to believe this can happen to them! Wake up! Accept it! And by accepting it you will be protecting your child!” she wrote.
She also spoke out against critics who may judge her and her actions, writing: “I don't care what your opinion is in my situation. I don't care what your opinion is of me! It does not matter! Your opinion will never bring back my son.”
Taylor had also been actively investigated in the case, police testified during the trial, saying that though they believed her behavior to be odd as well, but she never faced charges.
“No evidence has come forward to bring us up to a level of probable cause that you need to arrest Leanna [Taylor] Harris,” Cobb County police detective Phil Stoddard testified. “We never reached that point.”
After being told her son had died, Taylor had allegedly appeared unemotional and did not ask to see her little boy’s body, behavior that Stoddard testified believed to be "strange."
She also allegedly asked Harris, “Did you say too much?” Stoddard said in court.
Harris’ attorneys argued that Stoddard was “looking for a conspiracy,” but that Taylor had nothing to do with the death of her son.
Though Taylor testified that her ex-husband “destroyed my life,” she took the stand in his defense, saying her ex-husband was an involved father.
“So called ‘justice’ will never bring back my son. Nothing will ever take that pain away,” she wrote on Facebook. “And nothing will ever feel worse than living with the knowledge that his pain and his death could have been prevented. Be the wise parent, and accept that this can happen. And you will never have to walk the path that my family has had to walk. And I pray YOU never have to walk this path.”
Harris faces life in prison. He will be sentenced at a later date.