Julie Harper admits to shooting her husband Jason Harper dead. She did it the morning of August 7, 2012, in their Carlsbad, California home. Two of their young children were downstairs watching cartoons when they heard a thump. When Jason Harper died, Julie Harper covered his body with a blanket and took the kids to her sister’s house. Then she met with her father, real estate broker John Cihak, who told her they needed to call a lawyer.
Julie Harper, who claims she shot her husband in self-defense, was acquitted on first-degree murder charges. She was retried on second-degree murder charges in 2015. Being one of Harper’s first contacts after the shooting, Cihak was obviously an important witness. Yet according to NBC News “the only thing he [Cihak] said he could remember of their conversation was, “she said something, uh, ‘I shot Jason to defend myself.’” Cihak claimed, “I sort of went into shock. I started saying something like, ‘What, when, how. Just got into a lot of trauma in my mind.” Cihak says he couldn’t remember any of his daughter’s responses to those questions or if she gave them. Harper’s lawyer claims 76-year-old Cihak experiences from memory loss. Julie Harper was found guilty of second-degree murder. She now faces 40 years to life in prison. Dateline NBC will air its investigative report on January 31 at 7pm.