The trial of Miles Harrison, charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of his adopted Russian son, Dmitry Yakolev/Chase Harrison, 21 months, started today in Faixfax, Virginia. Harrison, in what I believe was a smart move for him, waived his right to a jury trial. His case is being heard from the bench. On July 8, Harrison, left the recently placed Dmitry, strapped in a car seat in his parked SUV at work for approximately 9 hours. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the 91 degree temperature outside means that the inside of the Yukon could have reached 180 degrees.
The defense scheduled 37 witnesses to testify to Harrison's character. Co-workers told the court he collapsed in the parking lot when Dmitry was discovered with the words, "I killed my son. I killed my son." Harrison did not take the stand, but wept throughout the day.
Information, which I have not seen earlier, came out during today's trial. Harrison, as some of us suspected, was not accustomed to taking Dmitry to daycare-- a job his wife Carol, an executive with Homeland Security, usually handled.
Then this astounding revelation: on the way to work, with Dmitry in tow, Harrison remembered to drop off clothes at the dry cleaners AND he remembered to grab his backpack with his work materials from the front seat of the car, just inches away from Dmitry! But he didn't remember Dmitry.
A representative from the Russian embassy is sitting in on the trial. No word on European Adoption Consultants, who disappeared Dmitry/Chase from its webpage months ago.
The judge is expected to come back with a verdict tomorrow morning.
At this posting, coverage from WJLA-TV, WDC, is the only substantial online news on the trial. Russia Today offers a very short piece. You can watch the WJLA news report on the trial at the station site above.
You can full find coverage of this case on this blog.
December 16, 2008, 11:54 AM: ADDENDA: Here is some clarification on yesterday's WJLA's report on the Miles Harrison trial, reported above. That report suggested that the judge would be rendering a verdict this morning, but maybe not.
Harrison's attorney moved for dismissal yesterday, which is what the judge is expected to rule on this morning.
The motion to dismiss the charge came at the end of the prosecution’s case. If Judge R. Terence Ney denies the motion, Harrison’s trial will continue. The case is being heard without a jury.