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Thursday, June 24, 2010 01:58 am

HARPER SAGA ON TV

Julie Rea Harper’s nine-year journey, including two court trials and years of prison time, will be the topic of an Investigation Discovery cable television show “Unusual Suspects” set to air Monday, June 28, at 9 p.m.

Titled “A Mother’s Conviction,” the episode details Harper’s struggle for acquittal after being charged with killing her 10-year-old son in their Lawrenceville home in 1997.

Harper was originally convicted of the murder but was later released on a technical legal matter before being arrested again and retried.

Although Harper had told investigators that she fought with an intruder, police found no clear evidence of a home invasion and Harper was convicted of the crime. But, by the time the second trial started, the Downstate Illinois Innocence Project had investigated Harper’s case and defense attorneys had more to work with – an imprisoned man had confessed to the crime, among others like it [see “The end,” by Dusty Rhodes, Illinois Times, Aug. 10, 2006].

“A mother accused of killing her own child made this an extremely emotional case. Numerous twists and turns, multiple endings, the conviction of a serial killer and then ultimately, the acquittal of Julie Rea Harper, presented the perfect story for our news series,” executive producer Lisa Bourgoujian says.
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