The investigation into Jason Harper’s murder is brought to viewers on NBC’s “Dateline:
The House on Badger Lane.” His wife Julie shot and killed him in August of 2012, claiming she was only trying to protect herself.
The prosecution, however, successfully persuaded the jury that the defendant was guilty.
However, the case did not go without obstacles, as Julie was tried twice due to a hung jury.
Let’s do some investigating and find out where Julie is right now, shall we?
Who is Julie Harper?
The murder trial of Julie Harper, who was arrested in August 2012, has been a major local news story for the past several years.
After being married for over a decade, Julie shot and killed her husband on August 7th, 2012.
Carlsbad, California was home to the Harper family of three, including parents Julie and Jason.
She told police that she had been threatened by Jason earlier that day and that she had pulled the trigger out of fear for her life.
But when she was arrested the next day, the authorities found no visible injuries on her body.
In addition to physical abuse, Julie claimed that her husband had raped her 30 times during their marriage.
She later stated in court, “My husband was a different man behind closed doors. I’m still recovering from everything he did to me all those years.”
She also claimed to have kept a diary in which she detailed the abuse; in some entries, she referred to sex as “rape.”
After shooting Jason, Julie took off with her children instead of calling the police.
When she was later asked in court why she did so, she said, “It was obvious he was dead.”
The stay-at-home mom then showed up at her father’s office after leaving her kids at her sister’s place.
She contacted a lawyer and then turned herself in. In 2014, she testified at her trial that she didn’t try to escape the room when she was in danger because she was afraid Jason would find her.
She also wanted to protect the children from hearing the argument. “I didn’t even mean to shoot him,” she continued.
I didn’t want him to rape me, hurt me, or anything worse; I just wanted him to leave me alone.
However, at her first trial, the jury found her not guilty of murder in the first degree.
They were deadlocked on the lesser charges of manslaughter and second-degree murder but leaning toward acquittal in the first-degree murder case.
Her pregnancy caused a delay in the second trial she was scheduled to face. She claimed to have conceived through in-vitro fertilization when she was out on bail during the summer of 2014.
Where is Julie Harper Now?
During Julie’s second trial in 2015, she stuck to her version of the events and claimed self-defense.
Her lawyer claimed she murdered Jason during a custody battle. She also claimed that she buried the gun to preserve the evidence.
Final verdict: second-degree murder conviction. Julie said that she was shocked by the verdict. In January 2016, she was sentenced to 40 years to life behind bars.
Julie said after her sentencing, “I am not guilty of the charge for which I’m here. I’m innocent of any criminal wrongdoing.”
She also apologized to her children. In 2018, a judge turned down her request to have her sentence shortened due to a change in state law.
She was hoping that her 25-year sentence for gun possession would be reduced.
As per prison records, she remains incarcerated at the California Institution for Women in Chino, Riverside County.
After serving her sentence, Julie will be eligible for parole in the year 2039.