ABC News' Amy Robach Speaks Exclusively with Ex-Wife of Man Serving Life Sentence For Hot Car Death of Son
Report Includes Never-Before-Seen Home Videos of Cooper Harris
"20/20" Airs Friday, February 17 on ABC
On June 18, 2014, Leanna Taylor lost her son and life as she knew it. In the aftermath of this tragic incident, investigators learned that her now ex-husband Justin Ross Harris was leading a double life and cheating on Leanna. Ross left their 22-month-old son Cooper Harris in a hot car resulting in his death and is now serving a life sentence for his murder. Leanna's actions were scrutinized after Cooper's death, causing police to question her possible involvement, but she was never charged. On Friday night, Leanna speaks exclusively to ABC News' Amy Robach, defending herself against those who still criticize her and remembering her son. Leanna tells Amy "this is anybody's story who's been betrayed by their spouse, who has been betrayed by the justice system. The only thing that I can do right now is to offer hope in a world that doesn't have much right now." The report also includes never-before-seen home videos of Cooper, interviews with prosecutor Chuck Boring, Lawrence Zimmerman, Taylor's attorney and more. "20/20" airs FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on ABC.
Ross was supposed to drop Cooper off at daycare that day but instead drove straight to work leaving his son in the car. Shortly after Ross left work that afternoon he says he realized what he had done, pulled into a shopping center, asked for help but it was too late. Detectives questioned whether this was a tragic accident or deliberate crime. They also became suspicious of Leanna, claiming that her reaction to her son's death was unemotional and the first conversation she had with Ross after Cooper's death was suspicious. Leanna was never charged, and the prosecutor believes she was not involved. During the investigation it was discovered that Ross was having multiple affairs. Ross pled not guilty to eight charges: malice murder, two counts of felony murder, first-degree cruelty to children, second-degree cruelty to children, sexual exploitation of children and two counts of disseminating harmful material to minors. Although she divorced Ross after learning of his infidelity, Leanna was the star witness for the defense. After a 22-day trial and four days of deliberations,Ross was found guilty of all eight charges and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Leanna plans to work to raise awareness about hot car deaths, hoping to stop them from happening.
"20/20" is anchored by Elizabeth Vargas and David Muir. David Sloan is senior executive producer.