Ross Harris murder trial: Witness describes 'odor of death'

- Jurors heard more testimony Wednesday in the Ross Harris murder trial, after the trial was put on hold for several days because of Hurricane Matthew's impact on the Georgia coast.

Prosecutors believe Harris intentionally left his 22-month-old son, Cooper, in a hot car to die. The defense claims Cooper's death was an accident.

Jurors began the day watching video of a happy innocent child eating breakfast with his father, but by days end they were hearing testimony about the "odor of death" the Cobb County father allegedly ignored.

RELATED: Ross Harris trial put on hold because of hurricane

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The video shows Ross Harris and Cooper walking into Chick fil-A in Vinings with huge smiles ready to eat breakfast. The former store manager said he greeted Harris and Cooper.

"Good morning. Who is this little guy? How are you doing Coop?” Former Manager Charles Christopher Redmon asked as he exchanged pleasantries on the tape.

During cross examination, defense attorneys got the same Chick fil-A employee to remark that Harris was extremely friendly and appeared to love his son.

During cross examination, defense attorneys got the same Chick fil-A employee to remark that Harris was extremely friendly and appeared to love his son.

RELATED: Key events from the courtroom for Oct. 12, 2016

The State then called Peyton Barwisk to the stand, a paramedic with Metro Atlanta Ambulance Service.

There was no one around the body," said Barwisk, who was the first paramedic on the scene.

Barwisk told jurors he had hoped to revive Cooper, but quickly discovered the toddler had no pulse and glazed eyes. 

Barwick said he talked with Harris on the scene that day and described Harris' demeanor. 

"He was very dry, showed no emotion and was not crying," Barwick said. During cross examination, defense attorney forced Barwick to admit he did not include his description of Harris ' demeanor in his report. 

Cobb County Police Captain James Ferrell and Crime Scene Technician Carey Grimstead both described a familiar "odor of death" emitting from Harris'  SUV and little Cooper's body.  Under Cross examination, the defense attorneys mitigated both officers’ testimony when they admitted they did not include the odor observation in their written report until one year later after meeting with the lead detective in the Harris case. 

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Lastly jurors asked Judge Mary Staley Clark if they could start their days earlier and shorten their lunches in an effort to move the trial along. The judge decided she would start earlier, but was not inclined to shorten lunch or end the day at 4:30 p.m

VIDEO: Report on Wednesday's testimony in Ross Harris murder trial

Tuesday, Judge Mary Staley Clark made sure all jurors were accounted for after days of delays from Hurricane Matthew. Most of the jurors reported to court in person, but those who didn't have been accounted for and will be in place Wednesday morning. 

RELATED: Ross Harris murder trial in recess until next week

Ahead of the break, the prosecution displayed graphic photos of the scene. Harris buried his head in his hands and appeared to cry. Several of the jurors closed their eyes as well.

Several witnesses also testified about what they observed that day in 2014. 

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The case originally was supposed to go to trial in Cobb County in April of this year, but after three weeks of jury selection, the judge approved the defense's request to move the trial out of the county because of pretrial publicity, eventually settling on the coastal city of Brunswick.

MORE: Full coverage of the Ross Harris Trial


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