Julie Harper's father and sister take the stand in her murder re - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Julie Harper's father and sister take the stand in her murder retrial

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VISTA (CBS 8) - Testimony continues in the re-trial of Julie Harper, a Carlsbad woman accused in the murder of her husband Wednesday.

The father and sister of Julie Harper took the stand during Tuesday's hearing.

Julie Harper is charged with second-degree murder for the 2012 death of her husband Jason Harper who was a teacher at Carlsbad High School. She was acquitted of first-degree murder last year.

[Jury selection begins in Julie Harper retrial

Julie claims that she shot her husband in self-defense, fearing that he would kill or rape her.

During Tuesday's hearing, both Harper's father John Cihak and sister Amy testified in court.

"She said something I didn't understand. What she said I asked her to repeat it. She said ‘Jason's dead’," John told the courtroom when describing the moment his daughter told him she had shot and killed Jason.

Julie's father also says she unexpectedly showed up at his real estate office to deliver the news.

"I was very upset, mentally. I couldn’t comprehend Jason being dead," John said. "I believe I asked her, ‘are you sure?’"

Julie's father says he doesn't remember asking his daughter how Jason was killed. He testified that the two of them went to run errands for the children shortly after Julie arrived at his office.

Julie's younger sister Amy also took to the stand Tuesday.

"Things had gotten very bad between Jason and my sister. Jason had become very, very angry. He was constantly yelling at her. He would grab her wrists and twist them," said Amy. 

However, prosecutors tried to discredit Amy as a witness, implying her father's monthly financial assistance had influenced her statements.

Prosecutors asked Amy if she didn't want to go against her father and speak with police because she feared she would lose her financial assistance. Amy said that wasn't the case and that she had in fact told the police everything that had happened.

When prosecutors asked Amy how many conversations she had had with Julie about the alleged abuse, Amy said they had only discussed it once. 

If convicted of second-degree murder, Julie Harper would face forty-years to life in prison. The jury can also consider the chargers of voluntary and involuntary manslaughter.

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