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12 jurors seated in Abaroa murder trial

Posted April 24, 2013
Updated April 25, 2013

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— Twelve jurors were seated as of Wednesday afternoon in the trial of a man accused of killing his wife in their Durham home eight years ago.

Raven Abaroa, 33, is charged with first-degree murder in the April 26, 2005, stabbing death of 25-year-old Janet Abaroa.

He has maintained that he was at a soccer game in Morrisville when his wife was killed and returned home to find her on the floor and their 6-month-old son unharmed in another room.

Jury selection started Tuesday morning, and attorneys must still choose two alternates for the trial before opening statements. They are scheduled for Monday morning. It's estimated the trial will last two to three weeks.

An autopsy found Janet Abaroa died as a result of a stab wound to the throat. It also found that she was in the early stages of pregnancy.

Raven Abaroa was arrested nearly five years after the crime in Idaho, where he then lived.

Investigators and prosecutors haven't commented on a motive for the killing but, during pre-trial motions this week, said Janet Abaroa told friends and family that she feared her husband because he had a bad temper.

Prosecutors said she also confided in others that Raven Abaroa, at one point in their marriage, wanted a divorce after he allegedly cheated on her.

Raven Abaroa said in a 2007 interview with FOX 50's NC Wanted that the couple had been through struggles in their marriage but that they had been working through them.

If he is found guilty of first-degree murder, Raven Abaroa faces an automatic life sentence without the possibility of parole.


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