4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Prosecutor argues against early release of Julie Harper

Will Jerry Brown's law and Kamala Harris' inaction help convicted murderer?

Prosecutor Watanabe, Julie Harper (making demonstration), Judge Bowman
Prosecutor Watanabe, Julie Harper (making demonstration), Judge Bowman

“Defendant deserves each and every day of her 40 years-to-life sentence,” prosecutor Keith Watanabe stated in papers he filed last week, arguing that a reduction of Julie Harper’s sentence “is not in the interest of justice.”

Julie Harper shot and killed her husband, Jason Harper, in the bedroom of their Carlsbad home in August of 2012. Their three young children were downstairs at the time. Currently, the eldest Harper boy is a freshman in high school, the girl is 12 years old, and the youngest boy is 7.

An attorney for Julie Harper, now 45, has requested that judge Blaine Bowman remove the penalty for the “use of gun allegation” which added 25 years to her sentence.

California governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 620 on October 11, 2017; this new law gives courts discretion to set aside “firearms enhancements;” the change in law went into effect on January 1, 2018.

In his moving papers, the prosecutor revealed that there was no objection from the California attorney general’s office when Julie Harper appealed to have the new 2018 law applied retroactively to her sentence. “As would be expected when there is no objection from the prosecutor’s representative, the Fourth District Court of Appeal held that the Senate Bill 620 applied retroactively to Julie Harper,” Watanabe wrote. (Kamala Harris was California attorney general from 2011 to 2017, she is now a U.S. senator. Xavier Becerra is currently AG of California.)

“Defendant should not receive benefit of this sweeping legislative change that took place years after her decision to murder her husband,” Watanabe wrote to judge Bowman. “Justice is not served here by reducing Defendant’s sentence.”

The prosecutor reminded Bowman, the same judge who heard the murder trials for Julie Harper, that “her murderous actions destroyed an entire family.”

For her second-degree murder conviction in 2015, Julie Harper got 15 years to life. The special allegation “personal discharge of firearm causing death” was found true by the jury, and this added 25 years, giving her a total sentence of 40 years to life.

Watanabe argued in his motion papers that legislators intend for courts to punish those harshly who use firearms in their crimes, both as a deterrent to individual criminals and as an example to society in general. Watanabe stated that the interests of society outweigh any factors which might favor Julie Harper, and to reduce her sentence “would serve no purpose in this case other than to guarantee the release of a dangerous individual.”

Family members are expected to speak to the court during the new sentencing hearing, set for October 24 at 9:30 a.m. in dept. 12 of San Diego’s North County Superior Courthouse in Vista.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Cooler weather just an opening for Pelly's clam chowder

Northwest oysters, local fish, and a sourdough bread bowl in Carlsbad
Next Article

Tecate mayor calls out her cops to face down the Baja state police

Olga Zulema Adams says debt paid off the day before
Prosecutor Watanabe, Julie Harper (making demonstration), Judge Bowman
Prosecutor Watanabe, Julie Harper (making demonstration), Judge Bowman

“Defendant deserves each and every day of her 40 years-to-life sentence,” prosecutor Keith Watanabe stated in papers he filed last week, arguing that a reduction of Julie Harper’s sentence “is not in the interest of justice.”

Julie Harper shot and killed her husband, Jason Harper, in the bedroom of their Carlsbad home in August of 2012. Their three young children were downstairs at the time. Currently, the eldest Harper boy is a freshman in high school, the girl is 12 years old, and the youngest boy is 7.

An attorney for Julie Harper, now 45, has requested that judge Blaine Bowman remove the penalty for the “use of gun allegation” which added 25 years to her sentence.

California governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 620 on October 11, 2017; this new law gives courts discretion to set aside “firearms enhancements;” the change in law went into effect on January 1, 2018.

In his moving papers, the prosecutor revealed that there was no objection from the California attorney general’s office when Julie Harper appealed to have the new 2018 law applied retroactively to her sentence. “As would be expected when there is no objection from the prosecutor’s representative, the Fourth District Court of Appeal held that the Senate Bill 620 applied retroactively to Julie Harper,” Watanabe wrote. (Kamala Harris was California attorney general from 2011 to 2017, she is now a U.S. senator. Xavier Becerra is currently AG of California.)

“Defendant should not receive benefit of this sweeping legislative change that took place years after her decision to murder her husband,” Watanabe wrote to judge Bowman. “Justice is not served here by reducing Defendant’s sentence.”

The prosecutor reminded Bowman, the same judge who heard the murder trials for Julie Harper, that “her murderous actions destroyed an entire family.”

For her second-degree murder conviction in 2015, Julie Harper got 15 years to life. The special allegation “personal discharge of firearm causing death” was found true by the jury, and this added 25 years, giving her a total sentence of 40 years to life.

Watanabe argued in his motion papers that legislators intend for courts to punish those harshly who use firearms in their crimes, both as a deterrent to individual criminals and as an example to society in general. Watanabe stated that the interests of society outweigh any factors which might favor Julie Harper, and to reduce her sentence “would serve no purpose in this case other than to guarantee the release of a dangerous individual.”

Family members are expected to speak to the court during the new sentencing hearing, set for October 24 at 9:30 a.m. in dept. 12 of San Diego’s North County Superior Courthouse in Vista.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Beating back fear of Tijuana, why I keep thinking about Mexico, a cross-border kidnapping

The normalcy of smuggling across the line, party people re-take TJ, deported but not angry
Next Article

Ryan Bowers’ posthumous collaboration with Crhymes

“His fingers kept twitching. His sweaty head was a little shaky. His lips were moving, but no words were coming out.”
Comments
2

This should be interesting. The defense, predictably, wants the enhancement dropped entirely. The prosecution, predictably, wants it kept unchanged. Can't get any farther apart than that. This all comes down to the judge. My first take on him, leading up to and during the first trial, was that he was doing everything he could do to lead to an acquittal. But then in the second trial and during the sentencing, my opinion changed. I think he was just making sure that a conviction would withstand appeal, and it has.

They have that enhancement to discourage those with murderous intent from using firearms. In this case she would have had little means to kill her husband without resorting to use of a handgun. And without that, he'd likely still be alive and she would be walking free.

I'll go out on a limb here and predict that it is certain that Judge Bowman will keep all or part of the enhancement. The most likely outcome is that he will not reduce it at all.

Oct. 15, 2018

While the enhancement is intended to discourage those with murderous intent from using firearms I doubt that anyone thinks of that at the time they commit the crime. The problem is with the sentence. A convicted murderer sentenced to, as in this case, 40 years to life should spend the 40 years before being eligible for parole. While in many cases lengthy sentences are handed out few spend anywhere near the time they were given.

Oct. 16, 2018

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close