Carlsbad mom faces life in prison for husband’s murder

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VISTA, Calif. — Sentencing is scheduled Friday for a Carlsbad mother of three who shot and killed her schoolteacher husband as they argued in their upstairs bedroom more than three years ago.

LIVE VIDEO:  Judge sentences Julie Harper

Julie Harper, 42, was convicted in a retrial last October of second- degree murder in the death of Jason Harper on Aug. 7, 2012. She faces 40 years to life in prison.

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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