Could a mom's diary save her from going to prison for murdering her husband?
Julie Harper admits she shot her husband Jason, a San Diego high school math teacher, but claims she acted in self-defense after years of abuse.
She said she documented everything in her diary. "He was attacking me," she read from her diary as she took the stand in court on Wednesday. "Sex 11 p.m., fight, 10 to 12 hours."
Julie told what she said happened moments before the shooting. "He grabbed me by the arms, shaking me…I knew that he was going to rape me. As he was coming toward me, he said, 'I'm going to kill you."
Julie claimed her husband raped her 30 times during their troubled marriage. Cellphone video she recorded shows her angry husband screaming at her.
Last week, in stunning testimony, Julie heard from her own nine-year-old daughter as she testified against her.
Julie choked up when she spoke of crying in front of her children during the heated arguments. "I'd say, 'It's okay, Mommy's okay, don't worry,'" she said in court.
Reporter Kelly Hessedal, covering the trial for KFMB TV, told IE: "She's talking about [things getting] more and more violent. She's talking about the graphic details of the arguments and alleged attacks."
Prosecutors claim the shooting was premeditated. They're also raising questions about Julie's character. After her husband's slaying, she stunned everyone when she showed up visibly pregnant – the result, she says, of in vitro fertilization.
Her shocking pregnancy raises questions about who the father is. If it's her late husband, could it undermine her claim that she was scared of him and killed him in self-defense?
Prosecutors also claim that Julie has been dating another man since shooting her husband to death. Could the baby's father really be her new boyfriend's?
It will be up to a jury to determine if she had no other choice but to kill her husband.
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