Julie Harper sentenced to 40 years to life for husband's murder - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Julie Harper sentenced to 40 years to life for husband's murder

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VISTA (CNS) - A Carlsbad mother of three who shot and killed her schoolteacher husband as they argued in their upstairs bedroom more than three years ago was sentenced Friday to 40 years to life in prison.

Julie Harper, 42, was convicted in a retrial last October of second-degree murder in the death of Jason Harper on Aug. 7, 2012.

RELATED: Jury finds Julie Harper guilty of second degree murder

Harper apologized to her family and children, but complained that her time in prison would be like a death sentence.

Judge Blaine Bowman called the defendant "a danger to society," saying "your husband got the death sentence." Harper's 10-year-old daughter, Jaqueline, wrote a letter to the court in which she vowed never to call the defendant "mom" again.

"You made my brothers and I orphans," she said. "How does your own mother kill your own father?"

In the defendant's first trial, she was acquitted of first-degree murder but jurors deadlocked on the second-degree murder charge.

Deputy District Attorney Keith Watanabe told the jury in the retrial that the defendant shot her 39-year-old husband from behind as they argued in their upstairs bedroom.

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."

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

Harper testified that she shot her spouse of 10 years in self-defense because she feared he was going to kill or rape her. She said she fired the gun accidentally as he charged her during the argument.

The couple's children were in a downstairs room watching cartoons at the time.


 

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