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Mom Of Toddler Who Died In Father’s Hot Car Says Overturned Conviction Is A ‘Vindication’

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Cooper Harris, Ross Harris, Leanna Taylor Harris

The mother of Cooper Harris, who was killed after his father, Justin Ross Harris, left him in a hot car, has spoken out in support after Harris' conviction was overturned by the Georgia Supreme Court.

Attorney Lawrence Zimmerman who represents Harris’ ex-wife and Cooper’s mother, Leanna Harris Taylor, told WSB-TV2 about how his client felt post-conviction.

“(This is) vindication for the trial lawyers Maddox, Carlos, and Brian. I know how hard they tried this case and how the deck was stacked so unfairly against them with the evidence the state tried to present,” Zimmerman said.

After the Supreme Court released its decision on June 22, Zimmerman says he and Taylor spoke as well.

"We texted, talked a little bit. It just brings back terrible memories and tragedy really,” he continued. “She also doesn’t want someone to sit in prison or be convicted of something that she knows they didn’t do intentionally.”

Where is Cooper Harris' mother, Leanna Taylor today?

Leanna Harris Taylor is living in Alabama, having relocated after her divorce from Cooper's father.

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It was in June 2014, when Taylor's entire life changed after her then-husband, Justin Ross Harris, left their son Cooper buckled in his rear-facing car seat in the back of an SUV parked outside of his father's place of work at a Home Depot corporate office in Marietta, Ga.

Cooper spent seven hours locked in the car before he eventually died of hyperthermia.

In an interview with WSB-TV2, Taylor spoke about how she couldn't believe Harris would leave their son unattended in the car for so long.

"It was something I considered an irrational fear,” Taylor said of the incident. “How do you forget your child is there?”

Leanna Taylor believes Cooper's death was an accident.

"This does happen. It has happened to other families and it has been proven to be an accident in other cases,” she said. “It’s a horrible thing to try to accept as a parent that you could forget your child in your car and bring harm to them.”

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Even though Taylor doesn't think Harris intentionally murdered their son, she doesn't forgive him for the affairs he had during their marriage, which police said included sex with prostitutes and "sexting" underage girls.

Justin Ross Harris and Leanna Taylor divorced during the investigation into Cooper's death.

During the trial, prosecutors argued that Harris killed his son so that he could be free to have sexual relations with as many women as possible. They also claimed that he exchanged sexual text messages with six different women on the day his son died.

After finding out the extent of his infidelity, Taylor, who was married to Harris from 2006 to 2016, divorced him. 

“I did not know how bad it was,” she said. “Sometimes you have these gut instincts that something isn’t quite right and I had those over times. Little sneaking suspicions that something’s not quite right.”

As of her life right now, Taylor has since moved from Georgia to Alabama and is dating someone new.

When asked if she would ever have children again, Taylor said, "I want that because I’ve always wanted to be a mother and I enjoyed being Cooper’s mom very much."

“It’s scary when you’ve experienced every parent’s worst nightmare to think about having another child, and that fear of something happening again and that constant worry of wanting to keep them safe.”

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Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics. Keep up with her on Instagram and Twitter.

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