By Scott North
A Snohomish County jury spent an entire day behind closed doors Friday without reaching a verdict in a murder case without a body.
Jurors in the first-degree murder trial of David C. Schubert, 62, of Arlington were sent home for the weekend. Judge Ronald Castleberry told them to return to court Monday to pick up where they left off.
Prosecutors spent much of two weeks trying to build an entirely circumstantial case that Schubert, a former Arlington police officer and insurance broker, killed his 30-year-old wife Juliana in June 1989 and hid her body.
Schubert has pleaded innocent and insists his wife simply walked away from him and their two sons, then ages 6 and 8.
Jurors began their deliberations Thursday afternoon and have already logged more than 12 hours discussing the case.
"I’m glad to see the jury is giving this case very serious consideration," deputy prosecutor Ed Stemler said.
Attorney Rick Leo, one of Schubert’s public defenders, agreed.
"Obviously, I’m glad they are taking their jobs seriously, because this is a first-degree murder case," he said. "But I’m a little surprised it is taking this long."
The defense called no witnesses during the trial and argued vigorously that prosecutors simply didn’t have enough hard evidence to show Juliana Schubert was dead, let alone that she was killed by her husband.
Jurors heard from witnesses who said David Schubert allegedly had talked about killing his wife to get some "peace" and that Juliana Schubert had told others she’d been threatened with a handgun.
In the weeks before her disappearance, she’d gotten a job outside the home and begun taking steps to divorce her husband and gain custody of their children.
The trial revisited history already probed in a 1998 civil wrongful death case against David Schubert brought by the missing woman’s mother. Jurors in the civil trial found Schubert liable for his wife’s death.
You can call Herald Writer Scott North at 425-339-3431
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