Julie Harper, a woman who killed her husband Jason Harper at their home in Carlsbad more than a decade ago, has been re-sentenced to 40 years to life in state prison. In 2015, she was convicted of second-degree murder and a gun-use allegation, after a prior jury acquitted her of first-degree murder and failed to reach a verdict on a second-degree murder count.
At the time of the shooting, the couple's three children were downstairs watching TV. Julie Harper claimed that she accidentally shot her husband during an argument as he charged at her.
Under the original sentence, she received 15 years to life for the second-degree murder charge, and an additional 25 years to life for the gun-use allegation. However, Julie Harper recently requested a reduction in her sentence, arguing that a recent California Supreme Court ruling allowed judges to wipe out the gun enhancement.
The judge, Blaine Bowman, denied the request and maintained the original sentence he imposed, citing the danger to public safety if the enhancement were dismissed.
Deputy District Attorney Keith Watanabe also opposed the request, claiming that Julie Harper had prepared a "getaway bag" with passports and cash before committing the crime, and disposed of the murder weapon, which has never been found.
Jason Harper's mother, Lina Harper, issued a statement calling for the 40-year-to-life sentence to remain in place, stating that justice would not be served until Julie Harper has served at least the number of years she took away from Jason.