Retrial of Carlsbad Woman Who Shot Husband Delayed Because of Pregnancy

A Carlsbad woman awaiting retrial in the shooting death of her husband has been granted a delay due to her pregnancy.

Julie Harper appeared in court Monday for a motion hearing Monday where the judge moved Harper’s pretrial motions to Aug, 20 and the trial to Sept. 8 after two doctors said the pregnancy was high-risk and going forward with the original trial date on April 15 would harm the baby.

The defense had asked for the pregnancy to be kept secret because, they argued, if the information were public it would lead to a prejudice and undermine her medical privacy, they said in court.

The prosecution argued in court that they had emailed the defense asking if it would be okay to put her pregnancy in the report and never received an objection, so they put it in.

A judge will decide at a later date if Harper’s pregnancy can be brought up in front of a jury. The trial had originally been slated to start next month.

A jury on Oct. 1 acquitted Harper of first-degree murder, but deadlocked on lesser charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter. That gave prosecutors the option to re-try the case, which they plan to on April 15. 

In her weeks-long September trial, Harper told jurors that she shot her husband, Jason Harper, on Aug. 7, 2012, because she feared he would kill or rape her.

Harper was a math teacher at Carlsbad High School.

Prosecutors, on the other hand, said Harper was angry and spiteful over the marriage. They questioned why, if she were innocent, she would bury the gun and not immediately report the shooting to policce. 

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