5 things to know about the Justin Ross Harris hot-car death case as trial begins

WSB-TV contributed to this report.

The murder trial for Ross Harris, a Cobb County father accused of intentionally leaving his toddler to die in a hot car, is scheduled to begin today in Glynn County after jurors and alternates are selected.

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On Monday, lawyers for the prosecution and defense will give their opening statements in the sensational murder case that has captivated the nation. Harris stands charged with murdering his 22-month-old son, Cooper, by leaving him to die in a hot SUV in June 2014. The defense maintains that it was a tragic accident.

The Home Depot web developer is also charged with allegedly sending lewd text messages to underage girls, including during the time Cooper was dying.

Explore>> Related: Jury selection in Ross Harris trial begins

Here are five key things to know about the trial.

1. Who is Justin Ross Harris?

Harris was raised in the Tuscaloosa area and graduated from the University of Alabama. He moved to Marietta with his wife and newborn son in 2012. Before his son's death, he had never been in trouble with the law. He and his wife, Leanna Taylor, divorced in March ahead of the Cobb County trial jury selection.

2. What are the charges?

Harris is accused of deliberately leaving his son in a hot car to die. The state has charged Harris with malice murder, which means the killer intended to kill. But it has also charged him with two counts of felony murder, which is a death that occurs during the commission of a felony. And he faces charges that he sent sexually explicit messages to underaged girls.

Explore>> Related: Justin Ross Harris, dad in Atlanta hot car death, returns to court

3. Why is the trial taking place in Brunswick?

The trial moved to this small coastal city after Cobb County Superior Court Judge Mary Staley Clark agreed Harris wouldn't be able to get a fair trial in Cobb. The judge said the media coverage has been "persistent, pervasive" and ultimately colored the prospective jurors' opinions.

4. Who are the main players in the case?

Leanna Taylor: The ex-wife of Harris is expected to be a key witness for the defense. Her attorney says Taylor remains convinced that her son's death was an accident.

Maddox Kilgore: The lead defense attorney for Harris was once a prosecutor in the Cobb district attorney's office. He moved over to the defense bar in 2005.

Chuck Boring: The senior assistant district attorney is leading the prosecution team. Boring heads the DA's special victims unit, specializing in crimes against children.

Phil Stoddard: As the lead investigator in the Harris case, Stoddard has been a key witness for the prosecution in multiple pretrial hearings and, because of that testimony, is also expected to emerge as a major component of the defense's case.

Mary Staley Clark: The Cobb County Superior Court judge surprised observers when she granted a change of venue from Cobb County to Brunswick in hopes of finding a more fair, impartial jury.

Explore>> Related: Officer: Justin Ross Harris was combative with first responders

5. What's next?

The first order of business Monday will be for the lawyers to use their "peremptory" strikes to cut the 45-person jury pool down to 12 final jurors, plus four alternates. Once the jurors are seated, attorneys for both sides will give their opening statements. These statements allow them to lay out their cases for the jury without being challenged or interrupted by the other side.

Watch the court proceedings live: