Julie Harper takes the stand in her murder retrial - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Julie Harper takes the stand in her murder retrial

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The defense continued its case Wednesday morning in the murder re-trial of a Carlsbad woman.

Julie 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.

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

[Related Story: Specialists take the stand in Julie Harper re-trial.]

During Tuesday's hearing, Harper took the stand as she was questioned by her defense attorney, telling the courtroom that her relationship with her husband had been rocky and at odds from the very beginning. She told the court that her husband would call her names before allegedly attacking her in their master bedroom. Harper testified that the first time Jason raped her was in January of 2010 after an argument over money.

"He would push me against the wall in our bedroom. He was pressing on me with his body against the wall and yanking my bottoms down with one of his hands," Harper told the court.

Harper claims the attack was so violent that she bled afterwards. She testified that there were about thirty similar incidents during the next few years. Harper told the court that one of those incidents resulted in pregnancy.

In 2011, Harper says she began a journal and would send some of the entries to an ex-boyfriend from college that she had remained friends with over the years.

"I wanted there to be a record, in case something happened to me," said Harper.

If convicted of second-degree murder, Harper would face 44 years to life in prison.

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