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tv   Nightline  ABC  October 9, 2015 12:37am-1:07am EDT

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[ cheers and applause ] this is "nightline." tonight, she shot her husband while the kids were watching cartoons. she says it was self-defense against domestic violence. was it really murder? tonight, the verdict is in. how tearful testimony from her children may have worked against her. plus, bill cosby's young accuser. more than 50 women have come forward claiming to be victims. she was only a teenager when she says cosby assaulted her in 2008. could this finally lead to the first criminal charges against him? how far would you go to conquer your fears? six feet under? why three brave souls are set to be buried alive. first the "nightline 5."
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cc1 test message test text1 underline test text1 itali good evening. thank you for joining us. tonight, breaking news in the trial of that california mother on trial for killing her husband in their own home while the children were just downstairs. those kids giving emotional
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testimony in court, the jury deliberating on her fate, and delivering the verdict just hours ago. >> he said, i'm going to kill you, you [ bleep ]. >> reporter: tonight the jury has come to a decision in the case of julia harper, the woman on trial for allegedly killing her husband. she says it was self-defense. but was it cold-blooded murder? >> i never intended to shoot him. >> reporter: harper, a stay at home mother on trial for shooting her husband jason in their bedroom, while their children watched cartoons downstairs. she says he was abusive and that this cell phone video proves it. >> you're putting our kid in the day care and making me pay for it and you're the one claiming you're taking care of them? >> reporter: weighing heavy in the jury's mind throughout the trial the emotional testimony of her two children, both testifying against their mother. >> i don't like her. >> why not? >> she killed my father. >> reporter: but this isn't the first time harper has been on trial. last year she was tried for the
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same crime. >> we'd just he'd been in an absolute fury in his rage, yelling, screaming. >> reporter: she was acquitted of first-degree murder. >> find the defendant, julie harper, not guilty -- >> the prosecution's theory was she'd premeditated it. that was a tough argument. because kid in the house, premeditating to kill him while they're there? >> reporter: the jury couldn't reach a decision on the other count of second-degree murder. >> for second-degree murder they have to show intent. >> reporter: now on trial for a second time, harper once again testifies she's not a murderer but a victim of domestic violence. she says jason, high school math teacher and volleyball coach, secretly raped her nearly 30 times and verbally abused her. >> he would call me a fat pig. disgusting, disgustingly fat. >> one of the things he was angry and yelling about was that they had child care help they were paying for. . when she was supposed to have quit work to be a stay at home mom.
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pieces of evidence that the defense has of jason behaving badly. but that's not rape. >> i was very embarrassed that he was doing it. i didn't want -- i didn't want my family to know. i didn't want my neighbors to know. know. >> so the only real evidence here that she was a victim of abuse is her own testimony. and that becomes critical. >> reporter: harper logs the rapes in a red journal where she says she wrote "sex" as a code word for "rape." >> if this jury doesn't believe her, she's going to be convicted. >> reporter: the morning of the shooting, august 7th, 2012. harper says she told jason she's filing for divorce and claims he went berserk. >> he was yelling all of these things, screaming them. grabbed me. shaking me. i was so scared. i --
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>> he began -- shoving me, pushing me toward the couch. i call it a chaise. and he was yanking my pants and top off. >> reporter: she says she manages to break free and grabs her derringer gun. >> he said, i'm going to kill you, you [ bleep ]. >> what did you say to him? >> i told him, stop. >> did he stop? >> no. >> what happened then? >> i -- heard a loud noise. and felt my hand jerk. >> reporter: she'd killed him. julie and jason's two young children were in the house at the time of the shooting. their 11-year-old son takes the stand. >> how are you doing today? >> not good. >> tell me about it. why not good? >> because i really don't want to be here. we heard a big thud.
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like really big. >> reporter: harper's daughter gives heart-wrenching testimony. >> and she said, "daddy just fell off a chair." and he was going to rest and then go do errands. and then we said, can we see him? and she said, no. >> i think the testimony of the children is very impactful. >> i don't like her. >> why not? >> because she killed my father. >> reporter: the prosecution asks the jury to consider harper's behavior after the shooting. >> she didn't call 911. she hid the gun. she takes the kids out of the house. she covers the body with a blanket. >> reporter: then there's what julie did before the shooting as well. in the days before jason's dead, bank security cameras capture this. >> this is you cashing two $4,500 checks from jason's account, is that correct? >> yes. >> reporter: the prosecution says she forged jason's
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herself totaling $9,000. also weighing on the jury's minds, the postcard jewelry wrote to another man from her jail cell. >> this bottom portion where it says "tloml, julie." what does that stand for? >> the hoff love of my life. >> you wrote this postcard 17 days after you shot and killed your husband jason, isn't that true? >> yes. >> who's he? how did that happen in two weeks? i wa submit that it did not. >> reporter: what's more is the forensic evidence of the bullet's path. the bullet entered jason's body from behind. prosecutors say that undermines harper's testimony that he charged at her. harper claims the gun went off by accident. >> i never intended to shoot him. i only intended to scare him and hopefully stop him from hurting me. >> what julie harper is trying
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disservice to real domestic abuse victims who are suffering right now. >> reporter: but on monday the prosecution allowed jurors to test fire a similar handgun to the one she says she used but police never recovered. a firearms expert testifying it's no hair trigger. ten pounds of pressure is needed to fire. >> it's very unusual for a judge to allow the jurors to all effectively test the weapon. prosecutors want to do this in a lot of cases. and most of the time judges say no. >> -- the jurors have reached a verdict -- >> the people of the state of california -- >> reporter: tonight the verdict is in. >> we the jury find the defendant, julie harper, guilty of the crime of murder -- >> reporter: the jury after deliberating five hours over two days finding julie harper guilty of second-degree murder. >> this murder conviction means that these jurors believe not
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but she intended to kill him. >> reporter: julie harper will be sentenced on november 5th. she faces 40 years to life in prison. next, a major development for bill cosby as he prepares for tomorrow's deposition. a young accuser coming out against him alleging he assaulted her only seven years ago. except that managing my symptoms was all i was doing. and when i finally told my doctor, is for adults like me who have tried other medications but still experience the symptoms of moderate to severe crohn's disease. and that in clinical studies, the majority of patients on humira saw significant symptom relief. and many achieved remission. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened; as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure. before treatment, get tested
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st message cc1 test message test t potentially game-changing news in the ongoing bill cosby saga as one of his youngest accusers comes forward with allegations of abuse as recent hi as 2008.
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after so many alleged victims have come forward without a day in court she opens up to abc. >> it is such a traumatic and hard thing to live with. >> reporter: 25-year-old las vegas model chloe goens is one of the youngest to come forward accusing comedian bill cosby of sexual abuse publicly. her lawyer believes she is cosby's only alleged victim to fall within the statute of limitations making her claims a potential game-changer in the firestorm surrounding the man dad. star of the legendary "cosby show." >> all i can think is, hypocrite. somebody who goes on tv and presents a wholesome image, yet is so sick. and that's why i'm here today, to bring out the truth. the truth about his lies. the truth about his secrets. >> reporter: goins filed a civil lawsuit tuesday claiming cosby drugged an assaulted her in 2008 when she was just a teenager. >> it's tragic that it happened
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coming into womanhood. >> reporter: she now joins the ranks of over 50 women who have accused cosby of sexual assault, drugging or rape, allegations spanning five decades. cosby has never been charged with a crime in regard to any of these accusations and his attorneys have said he denies all allegations. goins' lawyer says cosby offered her a drink at a party at the playboy mansion in 2008. >> chloe had a few sips of the drink and began feeling nauseous and dizzy. >> reporter: he says cosby offered to escort her to a bedroom. >> and on their way to the bedroom, chloe blacked out. she doesn't remember anything after that point until waking up with no clothes on, laying on her back in a bed, and at the time she wakes up she felt that her chest was wet and sticky as if somebody had been licking on it. she then noticed that mr. cosby was down at the foot of the bed and was biting one of her toes. >> reporter: he says cosby then left the room.
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>> reporter: goins did not report the incident to police until january 2015. the l.a. police department turned over the results of their investigation to the l.a. county district attorney's office just last week and they're now deliberating whether or not to charge cosby criminally. >> why did you decide to go public? >> i decided to come public and come forward and relive everything that happened to me because of the other women. all the other women that have been abused by mr. cosby and i all of us. >> reporter: her lawyers now believe she has a valid claim to bring forward, both criminal and civil action against cosby. >> the statute in california is very clear. majority. eight years after turning 18 to bring her claim. up until age 26. chloe right now is 25 years old. so she is, we believe, squarely within the statute of limitations. >> reporter: cosby's attorneys
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comment on goins' civil suit but earlier in january a lawyer for cosby said cosby wasn't in l.a. when the alleged incident occurred, saying in a statement, we will be providing documentary evidence to the appropriate authorities which conclusively establishes mr. cosby's whereabouts on august 9th and for the preceding and succeeding days." goins' attorney says the disputed date was a false assumption. >> she has never publicly said she was there on any specific date. >> reporter: goins' civil suit comes on the heels of another accuser making legal headway. forward. >> reporter: tomorrow bill cosby is set to be deposed under oath for the first time since mounting allegations of sex abuse against him made headlines earlier this year. >> in any deposition, we are permitted to ask any question that is relevant and that is reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible
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and so we have wide latitude in any deposition so that we are able to prepare our case for trial. >> reporter: gloria allred's client judy huff allegations the 78-year-old star forced her to perform a sex act on him at the playboy mansion in the mid '70s when she was 15 years old. a judge has ordered the deposition recording and transcript to remain sealed until december at least, pending further arguments. cosby's lawyers have denied huff's claims in court documents calling them absolutely false and baseless. >> i expect that bill cosby will invoke his fifth amendment right against self-incrimination. on almost all of the crucial questions that gloria allred or any other attorney wants to ask him. >> reporter: statutes of limitations prevent most of cosby's accusers from attempting to file criminal charges or civil claims against him for incidents that allegedly occurred so long ago.
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but that hasn't prevented others from speaking out. in september, over a dozen women spoke out in a&e's "cosby: the women speak." >> i first met bill cosby in 1969. >> in 1976. >> in 1984. >> reporter: among them beverly johnson, celebrated model of the '80s. johnson says she was invited to cosby's brownstone to rehearse. >> >> reporter: >> he said, there's a method acting, act like you're drunk. >> reporter: next she says he insisted she try a cappuccino. >> immediately i felt woozy. everything was spinning. and i was dithy. and i knew i had been drugged. no doubt in my mind. he puts one hand around my waist. and i remember cocking my head
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and saying, you're a [ bleep ] aren't you? >> reporter: according to johnson, cosby escorted her out of the house and threw her into a taxi. >> i was so disappointed. it was like a family member had done something to me. i knew that the kind of person i was dealing with would destroy me. >> even though there is no verdict yet in any civil case filed against him by any of the accusers, the court of public opinion, he's lost that battle. >> reporter: and it's the many other women who chloe goins says ultimately gave her the courage to come forward as well. >> i buried it for a long time. and i'm not sure how i would have been able to come out if these brave women didn't come forward and find the strength to tell their story. >> reporter: goins' civil lawsuit includes a list of 40 other accusers. >> we felt it was very important to give a voice to those
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able to identify, their voices, their stories, and be able to talk to them in this litigation so that they can speak on the record for the first time. >> i'm trying to heal myself from everything that's happened. and coming out about it and speaking about it, it does help. it's been very hard. >> when this is all said and done, what is justice for you? >> i'd like to see him behind bars for everything he's done. >> reporter: for "nightline," i'm kayna whitworth in los angeles. and next, why people are facing their deepest fears by being buried alive.
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finally tonight, a halloween event sure to leave you spooked. a quest for self-improvement three people accepted a stunt to confront their biggest fears. crane just or crazy depending where i don't stand. here's abc's david wright. >> reporter: buried alive. >> hello? hello! >> reporter: that's a&e's ground-breaking concept for a new two-hour live special. >> don't leave me here! >> reporter: the show features three people sealed in underground coffins, infrared cameras, and vital sign monitors rolling. helping them think it, the surprisingly sunny expert. >> my name is margee kerr and i know what scares you. >> reporter: she helped design the scariest haunted house in america, scare house in pittsburgh. her theory, whatever doesn't
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kill us makes us stronger. >> you know you can definitely apocalypse. homicidal rabbit. you're a survivor, right? shows like "the walking dead," "american horror story" show fear ryans, horror is hip. why else would lady gaga take a lead role? what are the things that we're most afraid of? a new survey found many of the things you'd expect. ghosts, clowns, zombies. at the very top of the list there's bugs, heights and public speaking. to ratchet up the fright, a&e is turning to eli roth. >> face it, we're all tuning in to see what happens when someone gets buried alive. i want to see the look on their face. i want to see them screaming. >> reporter: get ready to dig in. i'm david wright for "nightline" in new york. >> wow.
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monday, october 26th, on a&e. a network jointly owned by our parent company, disney. aristotle said, he who overcomes his fears will truly be free. thank you for watching abc news. tune into "good morning america" tomorrow. as always we're online 24/7 on our "nightline" facebook page and ed: new trouble for embattled fantasy sports sites tonight. jorge: the move angry players are making to get their money back. heather: the new leads tonight in the case of a kidnapped new
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england teen who jumped from a
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