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JUSTIN HARRIS INDICTED BY COBB COUNTY GRAND JURY ON MULTIPLE CHARGES

liz gunnBy Liz Gunn ||This story has made me physically ill from day one. Justin Harris, the Georgia father who left his 22 month old son in the car to die of heat exhaustion, has been indicted by Cobb County grand jury. He faces charges of malice murder, felony murder and cruelty to children.

I would like to say that I hope justice will be served, but there is no justice for a “man” who kills his own child. There is no punishment worthy of a crime so heinous.

It’s just too hard not to jump to conclusions here. He and his son ate breakfast at Chick-Fil-A before he headed into work. One would think that would make it harder to forget he was in the backseat. When people forget their children are in the car, and it does happen, it’s usually when someone is rushing or in a stressful situation.

He even went to his car during lunch that day to retrieve something. Reports later surfaced that he was “sexting” with multiple women while at work that day, one as young as 17. That doesn’t make him a murderer, but it certainly raises questions about his character.

Police also reported Harris visited numerous web sites that day that showed dead people or people dying. Circumstantial? Okay. Incriminating in the mind of a juror? Probably. That isn’t normal behavior for a “loving, caring father.” That’s not normal behavior for anyone, in my opinion.

This is just a very sad tragedy, and I hate that we live in a world where people like this exist. I don’t always support the death penalty – mainly because it has never been proven as a deterrent to violent crime. But I am very glad the state of Georgia employs it, and I wouldn’t mind if this guy gets it.

FITS wrote about vehicular heat exhaustion earlier this summer, and quite frankly – I disagree. I truly don’t think it’s laziness or stupidity when people legitimately forget their kids in the car. It has happened to nearly one in four parents. It would be hard for me to argue that 25 percent of the populations isn’t lazy and or stupid, because they probably are. But cases have sited doctors, professors and school principals have all been guilty of this horrifying lapse in responsibility.

Two key factors at play, according to research, are stress and sleep deprivation. Most parents of young children experience one or both of these at all times. If it’s something that worries you, I suggest looking at some of the prevention tips from Kids And Cars.

In the case of Justin Harris, however, I personally do not believe this was an accident. Of course it doesn’t matter what I believe because a jury will ultimately decide his fate. But I have a pretty good feeling about how this one is going to turn out.

Liz Gunn is a wife, mom, author, businesswoman, travel enthusiast, food snob, fashionista, lover of great wine and the No. 1 Gamecock football fan … ever. A graduate of the University of South Carolina, she lives in Columbia, S.C. with her husband and daughter.