Prosecution cross-examines Julie Harper - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Prosecution cross-examines Julie Harper

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Closing arguments could begin next week, in the re-trial of a Carlsbad woman accused of killing her husband.

Julie Harper took the stand for the third day in a row Thursday morning as she was cross-examined by prosecutors in her re-trial for the murder of her husband.

Harper is charged with second-degree murder for the Aug. 7, 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.

[Related Story: Julie Harper describes the day she shot her husband]

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

[Related Story: Julie Harper takes the stand in her murder trial

 A large portion of Thursday’s hearing focused on Harper’s allegation of being raped repeatedly by her husband.

The focus was on Harper's journal. Harper kept a dairy in which she documented the alleged rapes, however, in her diary, instead of using the word “rape” to describe the alleged assaults, she chose to use the word “sex”. Harper claims that she used the word “sex” as a code word for “rape”.

Prosecution: "Again sex with Jason here means rape with Jason?" 

Harper: "Yes it means un-consensual sex."

Prosecution: "Why didn't you write rape by Jason?”

Harper: "I wasn't writing the word rape."

Prosecution: "Why didn't you write sex by Jason?"

Harper: "Because I didn't think it would be analyzed in court one day. These are private. I wasn't really worried about grammar."

The prosecution questioned Harper’s sex life and how intimate she had been with her husband. She wrote in her journal that Jason had raped her more than 30 times, using the word “sex” for “rape”.

The prosecution pointed out that she continued to attend church and activities with her children and continued to lead a normal life during the alleged assaults. Harper also said that one of her children was born out of rape by her husband. She said she was going to file for divorce in 2012, but that didn’t happen.

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

Harper was also asked by the prosecution about the whereabouts of the murder weapon. Harper said that after fatally shooting her husband, she buried the handgun near her father’s house because her lawyer told her to “preserve it.” The handgun hasn’t been found and is still missing.

Harper’s defense attorney will ask a domestic violence expert to take the stand to talk about how her actions were normal for a victim. Other witnesses are also expected to take the stand. Closing arguments could be as early as Monday.

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

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