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Man claims he murdered wife ‘at her request’

September 9, 2023
Murder 1

A rural resident of Carlton County, Raymond Arthur Julian, aged 67, testified on Friday that he had fatally shot his ailing wife at her request, bringing an end to her suffering. Raymond Arthur Julian pleaded guilty to the intentional second-degree murder of his wife, Tracy Ellen Julian, aged 62, at their residence near Kettle River in December 2021.

Appearing via video from the Carlton County Jail in State District Court, the defendant expressed his emotions as he acknowledged the allegations in a criminal complaint while maintaining that he had acted in accordance with his wife’s wishes. He stated, “It was a suicide by her, with me as the instrument.”

Julian could potentially face more than 20 years in prison under state sentencing guidelines. However, defense attorneys are expected to argue for a lesser punishment considering the unique circumstances.

The defendant testified that he had shot Tracy Julian roughly 12 hours before Carlton County sheriff’s deputies arrived at their residence located at 3662 Heiskari Road in Kalevala Township on December 10, 2021. According to court documents, a third party had received an email from Raymond implying that he intended to kill Tracy.

Julian acknowledged that he had informed deputies something along the lines of, “My wife is dead. She’s in the bed. I killed her.” He revealed that he was subsequently arrested and did not witness what occurred next. Court documents indicate that deputies entered a partially finished pole building and discovered Tracy on a bed in a living area. It was “obvious” that she had succumbed to gunshot wounds in the head and chest area, according to the complaint.

During his testimony on Friday, Julian confirmed that he had used a shotgun to intentionally shoot her near the heart and then the base of the skull, leading to her death. He stated that his intent in firing those shots was to grant the relief that she had requested to end her suffering. Julian did not provide extensive details regarding his wife’s health issues.

Following his statements about self-harm, Julian was initially taken to a hospital for observation before being booked at the county jail, where he has been held for the past 21 months. The case faced delays as attorneys awaited various forensic results from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

Defense attorney Andrew Poole described the case as a “mercy killing.” However, Julian acknowledged that he understood his plea’s facts did not constitute a legal defense under Minnesota law.

According to county records, the couple had been married since November 1997. Julian, who does not appear to have any prior criminal history, could potentially face a prison term ranging from approximately 22 to 31 years under sentencing guidelines. Poole stated that he would file requests for both durational and dispositional departures, seeking a shorter prison sentence and probation instead.

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