The child’s mother has been “living every parent’s nightmare,” according to the statement released Tuesday evening.
Leanna Harris’s husband, Justin Ross Harris, is charged with felony murder and child cruelty charges after leaving his son in the back of his car at Home Depot while he was at work for seven hours. Justin Ross Harris was denied bond at a recent hearing and has been in the Cobb jail since June 18 on felony charges of murder and child cruelty.
Leanna Harris hired Lawrence Zimmerman, an Atlanta attorney, to represent her last week after speculation on her knowledge of her husband’s actions during the hearing put her in the spotlight.
Cobb Detective Phil Stoddard said at the hearing Leanna Harris asked her husband after he was interviewed by police “Did you say too much?”
Zimmerman said on Tuesday he would not answer any questions about Leanna Harris, and the statement said the media “fostered a poisonous atmosphere in which Leanna’s every word, action and emotion — or failure to cry in front of a crowd — is scrutinized for some supposed hidden meaning.”
Leanna Harris is compared to Richard Jewell in the statement, who was a man the media portrayed as the suspect in an Atlanta bombing incident during the 1996 Summer Olympics. When he was later cleared of suspicion by police, Jewell said his reputation was ruined by the media’s negative portrayal of his character.
“In much the same way, the press unjustly harassed and hounded Olympic bombing hero Richard Jewell when he didn’t behave as some thought he should,” Zimmerman said in the statement.
Zimmerman’s statement asks the media to give Leanna Harris space to allow her to grieve for her son’s death.
“She mourns Cooper’s death deeply, in her own private way,” Zimmerman said in the statement. “Getting through each day seems almost impossible.”