Wife Accused of Husband's Murder Was Ready to Flee: DA

A search warrant details a backpack with passports, important papers

By Rory Devine and R. Stickney
|  Wednesday, Aug 22, 2012  |  Updated 7:49 AM PDT
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Details from a search warrant in the case of a Carlsbad woman accused of killing her husband and the defendant's journal entries that indicate a verbally abusive husband. NBC 7's Nicole Gonzales reports on the murder trial of Julie Harper.

Details from a search warrant in the case of a Carlsbad woman accused of killing her husband and the defendant's journal entries that indicate a verbally abusive husband. NBC 7's Nicole Gonzales reports on the murder trial of Julie Harper.

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Julie Harper Arraignment

Video from the pretrial hearing for Julie Harper, the Carlsbad woman accused in her husband's death.
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A Carlsbad woman facing murder in connection with her husband’s death had collected passports, birth certificates and important papers in a backpack according to prosecutors.

The new information came to light at a pretrial hearing to discuss the bail amount for Julie Harper, the former real estate agent who faces murder in the death of Carlsbad High School math teacher Jason Harper.

During a search by investigators at Julie Harper's father's home in Scripps Ranch, where she was arrested, investigators said they found a backpack with passports and her children's birth certificates, which prosecutors argued shows the defendant had planned to flee.

Defense attorney Paul Pfingst argued it’s common for someone who had just filed for divorce to have those items on hand.

Jason Harper, 39, was found dead from a gunshot wound inside the couple's home on August 7 just days after his wife had filed for divorce.

The couple's three children were home at the time their father was shot. One child told investigators they heard their father yell and then a thump.

Julie Harper told the children their father fell off a chair prosecutors allege.

Then she took the kids to the La Costa Coffee Roasting for coffee and sandwiches, tried to set up a playdate with a neighbor, stopped at a children's activity center and then arranged for her sister to watch the kids during the afternoon before surrendering herself to police at her father's home in Scripps Ranch.

The divorce filing accused Jason Harper of abuse and an entry in a Carlsbad police log detailed a call for help made from the Harpers’ home on November 22, 2011.

In court Tuesday, Pfingst presented his client's journals that he says shows Julie Harper was psychologically abused by her husband over many years.

Former co-workers of Jason Harper said they do not believe the allegations of abuse made about the 6'9" man they called a "gentle giant."

“I talked with him on a daily basis and he was always kind and gentle. He was a good guy,”  co-worker Vicki Crossman told NBC 7 at a previous court appearance.

Harper's bail was not changed and stands at $2 million.
 

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