Accused husband killer compares self with abused wife of NFL player

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VISTA, Calif. -- Julie Harper, a Carlsbad mother who shot and killed her husband, wrapped up her testimony on the eighth day of her retrial.

The judge declared a mistrial in the first case in which Harper was charged with first-degree murder. The jury was leaning towards a charge of second-degree murder but remained in deadlock.

Harper maintains she accidentally shot Jason Harper in self-defense.  She has testified he raped her at least 30 times.

“Who was it, the poor wife of Ray Rice last year? I mean she was only fortunate that there was elevator video,” said Harper.

Harper became defensive and brought up Janay Rice, then-fiancé of NFL player Ray Rice when a prosecutor asked her for proof that she was raped.

“If there hadn’t been the elevator, nobody would believe it. This is exactly why women don’t come forward and talk about rape,” said Harper.

“I don’t think you answered my question. Do you have any proof is all I’m asking,” said Watanabe.

“I don’t know what kind of proof you’re asking for,” said Harper.

Through much of Tuesday and Wednesday morning, Attorney Paul Pfingst reviewed a journal kept by Harper.

In the journal, she said in some entries she used “sex” as a code word to note the times she was raped or forced to have sex.

“So you never once in all those times documented any bruises, cuts, strangulation marks?” asked Watanabe.

“I told you I was very embarrassed and ashamed,” said Harper.

As Watanabe continued to press her for proof, she became emotional.

Harper also told the jury about the moments leading up to the Aug. 7 shooting.

“As he was coming towards me, he I said, 'I’m going to kill you,'” said Harper.

She said she and Jason had been arguing about divorce when he became enraged and attacked her.

“He was yelling all of these things and screaming then grabbed me by the arms and started shaking me forcefully,” said Harper.  "I knew he was going to rape me."

Prosecutors showed pictures taken following Harper’s arrest the next day. A Carlsbad police officer testified no bruises or injuries were found on her body.

Under cross-examination, Watanabe pointed out a number of inconsistencies in Harper’s testimony. He showed her a page from a journal entry where she wrote about her desire for more romance, intimacy and sex from her husband.

“OK, so if I’m understanding this correctly, you testified rapes were still going on at this time correct? Yet, you’re having a conversation with him about more interest in sex in your marriage?” asked Watanabe.

“Yes,” said Harper.

She also testified she buried the .38-caliber Derringer, because she was told to preserve evidence. She said that using her children’s toys she found in her minivan, she buried it near her father’s Normal Heights office. She said she had intention of retrieving the gun later, but when she returned after she was released from jail a year later, it was gone. The gun has never been recovered.

She also said that when she told her father she shot Jason, she said maybe they should call police. Her father’s response was that she needed a lawyer.

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