Julie Harper and Paul Pfingst
Julie Harper killed her husband Jason with a two-shot derringer that her father had given her for self-protection when she was going to college in the 1990s, according to her attorney who spoke to jurors this morning, September 15.
Attorneys for both sides gave opening statements in the murder trial of a Carlsbad housewife who, two years ago, reportedly shot her husband in the master bedroom of their home while their children played downstairs.
Defense attorney Paul Pfingst claimed that Julie Harper was a “devout Catholic” who resisted the idea of divorce but finally, “She couldn’t take it anymore.” The privately retained attorney claimed that Jason Harper “grew to hate” his wife and called her a “fat pig” and he yelled and swore at her in front of their three children.
Pfingst confirmed that he expected his client would take the witness box. “I just ask that you wait for Julie Harper to testify,” Pfingst said, “before you make up your mind.”
Prosecutor Keith Watanabe told jurors that actions speak louder than words, and he carefully detailed a timetable of Julie Harper’s activities on August 7, 2012, the day of the shooting.
Watanabe also said, “This case is very much about the deterioration of Julie Harper.” The deputy district attorney claimed that, before the shooting, she had become a recluse and spent most of her days in bed or in her home; he listed some of the prescription medications she reportedly used.
Julie Harper is now 41; Jason was 39 at the time of his death.
The trial is expected to last three weeks in San Diego’s North County Superior Courthouse.