Specialists take the stand in Julie Harper retrial - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Specialists take the stand in Julie Harper retrial

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The prosecution has rested in the trial of a Carlsbad woman accused of fatally shooting her husband three years ago.

Evidence specialists took the stand during Wednesday's hearing in the retrial of Julie Harper. 

Harper is charged with second-degree murder for the 2012 shooting 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.

"The upper left photograph is a photograph that was taken as we opened the front pocket of the blue JansSport backpack. And the lower right picture is of a handgun that was in the pocket," said Bryanna Toussaint. Toussaint was a fingerprint and evidence specialist at the Carlsbad Police Department at the time of Jason Harper's death. 

During Wednesday's hearing, photographic evidence was presented to the court, depicting officers removing evidence from a blue JanSport backpack found inside the garage attic of Julie Harper's father's home. When investigators opened the backpack, they found four passports and two social security cards inside the backpack pockets. Two of the passports were in Julie's name and two passports were for two of her children. Investigators also found jewelry, prescription drugs, cell phones, checks, check books, and car titles. 

There were also photographs of a male subject lying on a bed without clothing and a will. 

"These are last will and testaments for Jason Harper and Julie Harper," Toussaint said to the court.

Prosecutors later discovered there had originally been about $39,000 worth of cash in the backpack as well, but that money was missing when investigators documented it. During Tuesday's trial, the defendant's father testified the money had been used to cover Julie's legal expenses or that it may have been used for bail. 

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

The jury also heard from additional experts, including an FBI agent who specializes in cell phone activity. According to the FBI agent, there was a twenty-four minute window the afternoon of Jason's death that Julie's dad wasn't able to get a hold of her. 

The jury also heard from a ballistics expert who says that the bullet used to kill Jason matches a box of bullets found in a closet in the Harper home.

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