Jury finds Julie Harper guilty of second degree murder - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Jury finds Julie Harper guilty of second degree murder

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VISTA (CBS 8/ CNS) - On Thursday, the jury found Julie Harper guilty of second-degree murder in the killing of her husband, and guilty of intentional discharge of a firearm. Harper faces 40 years to life in state prison.

The verdict comes after only one day of deliberations Thursday in the murder retrial of a Carlsbad woman who fatally shot her schoolteacher husband in their North County home more than three years ago.

Julie Harper's defense attorney Paul Pfingst said he was dissapointed with the jury's decision. 

The jury was made up of seven women and five men. All declined to be interviewed by the media. 

Deputy District Attorney Keith Watanabe said Jason Harper's family had been waiting three years for Thursday's verdict. 

Jason's family has since adopted the three Harper children. 

Wantanabe said that what made a difference in the retrial was that prosecutors knew the defense's strategy.

Julie Harper, 42, was acquitted of first-degree murder last year in the Aug. 7, 2012 shooting of 39-year-old Jason Harper. Jurors deadlocked on second-
degree murder charges and the case went to trial again last month.

Watanabe told the jury in the retrial that Harper - a mother of three - shot her husband  from behind as they argued in their upstairs bedroom.

Related Story: [Jurors in Julie Harper trial test-fire gun
Watanabe said the defendant disposed of the murder weapon, which has never been found, and did not call 911. The prosecutor called the shooting "unjustified."

See related story: [Prosecution cross-examines Julie Harper]

Watanabe acknowledged that Jason Harper was verbally abusive toward his wife but said the victim was never physically violent with the defendant.

Julie Harper testified that she shot her spouse of 10 years in self-defense because she feared he was going to kill or rape her. The couple's children were in a downstairs room watching cartoons when the shooting happened.


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