By Scott North
An Arlington man on trial for murder in the 1989 disappearance of his wife fought hard Monday to try to keep a Snohomish County jury from hearing him describe, in his own words, the last time he saw the woman.
At issue was testimony David Schubert, 62, gave three years ago during a civil wrongful death case involving his missing wife, Juliana Schubert.
The 30-year-old mother of two sons, then ages 6 and 8, dropped from sight 12 years ago, leaving behind her car, cash and children. Although no body has been found, jurors in the civil trial found David Schubert liable for her death.
Schubert is now on trial for first-degree murder. On Monday, public defender Richard Tassano tried to block prosecutors from entering Schubert’s prior testimony in the civil trial, arguing Schubert’s former lawyer had failed to protect his client’s rights.
With the jury out of the room, Schubert, a former Arlington police officer, took the witness stand and said he was not told his sworn testimony in the civil case could be used against him at some future date.
"I was told that I had no choice, that I had to testify," Schubert said.
Superior Court Judge Ronald Castleberry ultimately ruled that Schubert’s prior testimony should be heard, finding no legal grounds to prohibit its introduction.
Two deputy prosecutors read the testimony into the record. There were no bombshells.
Schubert described his missing wife as a good mother who was devoted to her children. He said he last saw her on June 30, 1989, after they argued while discussing plans for divorce. She walked out of their house and never returned, he said.
When asked what happened to his missing wife, Schubert testified he had no idea.
In other testimony:
Prosecutors say they may rest their case as early as today.
You can call Herald Writer Scott North at 425-339-3431
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