Married couple Jason and Julie Harper lived in the small gated seashore community of Carlsbad, California, with their two young children. On the morning of August 7, 2012, while the kids were watching cartoons downstairs there was a thump upstairs. Shortly after, Julie took the kids to her sister’s house, went to a coffee shop and then went to see her father at his office. Her father told her they had to call the police. Later that night when the police showed up to the Harper home on Badger Lane, the police found the body of Jason under a blanket. One bullet was lodged in the chest. The gun has never been found.
In 2014, Julie Harper was acquitted on first-degree murder charges. She was retried on second-degree murder charges and her retrial began in September 2015. During her retrial, Julie Harper’s lawyer said she killed Jason in self-defense and hid the gun she used out of panic, not guilt. On the stand, Julie Harper claimed her husband raped her more than 30 times. She says her husband “was a rapist without anyone knowing.” In October, 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.