Leanna Taylor is opening up about the high-profile death of her son and her ex-husband's murder conviction. She spoke for the first time on television about the 2014 "hot car" death of her 22-month-old son Cooper with ABC's 20/20.
“It just felt like a bad dream," she says. At the time, she didn't even know how to react. "There’s no way for someone to know how they would react. My explanation of how I would have reacted and the reality of how I actually reacted would have been completely opposite. Nothing about it felt real, nothing about it felt like it was happening."
Watch the video below from People:
Cooper died on June 18, 2014, after spending seven hours in a hot car in Marietta, Georgia. Justin Ross Harris, Taylor's then-husband, was arrested. He told authorities at the time that he had “no malicious intent." However, the prosecution showed that he often visited suspicious websites before his son's death, including sites with information on hot car deaths and a "child-free" lifestyle. According to NBC, he had been receiving and sending explicit text messages from multiple women, including a 16-year-old girl.
“There was no evidence in our relationship that suggested that he would harm anyone, much less his own son,” Taylor says. She divorced him later due to infidelity but maintains her son's death was an accident.
Harris was found guilty on eight felony counts, including murder and cruelty to children, as well as sexual exploitation of children due to the texts, according to CNN. He has been sentenced to life in prison (without parole) and is now appealing that conviction.
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