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Raymond Arthur Julian takes own life at Minnesota Correctional Facility after being sentenced for mercy killing

30 Dec 2023, Jail News, by

Raymond Arthur Julian, sentenced to over 25 years for the mercy killing of his wife, dies by suicide at the Minnesota Correctional Facility.

Raymond Arthur Julian takes own life at Minnesota Correctional Facility after being sentenced for mercy killing - Inmate Lookup

Last week, Raymond Arthur Julian, a 67-year-old man from Carlton County, committed suicide at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in St. Cloud. This occurred just two days after he received a sentence of more than 25 years for fatally shooting his ill wife, Tracy Ellen Julian, in December 2021.

The suicide took place on the same day Raymond was transferred to the facility to begin serving his sentence for Tracy’s murder.

On Thursday, the Minnesota Department of Corrections confirmed the suicide, but the agency refrained from offering further comments on the incident. The Minnesota Correctional Facility in St. Cloud functions as the intake prison for men committed to prison in Minnesota.

On December 18, Julian’s plea for leniency was denied after he pleaded guilty in September to what he described as a “mercy killing.” He took action as per his wife’s request. They presented an unusual request for intentional second-degree murder—probation—during the argument, but Judge Amy Lukasavitz ultimately imposed a guideline 306-month term.

Defense attorney Andrew Poole characterized the deaths of Tracy and Raymond Julian as a true tragedy, emphasizing the absence of the right to end one’s life with dignity in the state of Minnesota.

He reiterated that nobody disputed Tracy’s severe illness and highlighted that Raymond, out of deep love, took her life at her request to alleviate her suffering, characterizing it as the epitome of a true love story.


The plea hearing

During his plea hearing, Julian testified that he used a shotgun to shoot his 62-year-old wife in a pole barn on their property in Kalevala Township.

However, he told the court that it was a “suicide by her, with me as the instrument.” Tracy suffered severe Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), had a history of heart valve replacement surgery, and struggled with breathing issues for about 15 years, as disclosed in the court documents.

Poole pointed out that Raymond Arthur Julian had informed a friend of his involvement in a “suicide pact” with his severely ill wife a few days before her death. Additionally, Tracy Julian had left written expressions about that choice.

In handwritten notes in the weeks leading up to her death, Tracy expressed her lamentations about being unable to have death with dignity. She indicated her desire to avoid involving a gun but seemed to accept it as a possibility. Additionally, she compiled a list of individuals to talk to or bid farewell to and wrote, “I give up,” as documented in the court filings.

Raymond Julian, determined to end his own life, was in the process of dispatching packages of mementos to loved ones, according to Poole. The Carlton County sheriff’s deputies arrived at the residence on December 10, 2021. A friend informed the authorities that she had received an email from Raymond outlining the plan to harm Tracy.

Poole argued in court that this case differed significantly from the typical traits of a normal murder, where one intentionally takes the life of another out of rage or anger. He contended that it was intended to be a love-based murder-suicide premised on ending Tracy’s pain and Raymond’s not wanting to live without her.

However, Chief Deputy Carlton County Attorney Jeff Boucher disagreed with the defense’s rationalization of the “particularly cruel” slaying, unequivocally stating, “Murder is not an act of love.”

Boucher requested a 30-year sentence, emphasizing that contemplating suicide does not justify murder and that a suicide note is not a license to kill. He argued that probation would have been an unprecedented outcome, and Julian’s actions were no less severe than typical cases of intentional second-degree murder.

Under Judge Lukasavitz’s sentence, Raymond Arthur Julian would have been required to serve at least 17 years in custody before becoming eligible for supervised release, reaching his early 80s by that point.



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