Abaroa set to go to trial for wife's 2005 stabbing death
Posted April 22, 2013
Durham, N.C. — A man accused of killing his pregnant wife eight years ago this week is set to go to trial in Durham this week for her death.
Raven Samuel Abaroa, 33, is charged with first-degree murder in the April 26, 2005, fatal stabbing of Janet Marie Christiansen Abaroa, whose body was found in an upstairs room of the couple's home on Ferrand Drive in Durham.
Jury selection in the trial is expected to begin Tuesday.
On Friday, Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson heard a pre-trial defense motion regarding evidence in the case, but he did not rule on the matter. Motions are expected to continue Monday.
According to an autopsy report, Janet Abaroa, 25, died from a stab wound to the neck and had been recently pregnant with her and her husband's second child.
The couple's first child, Kaiden, was 6 months old at the time of his mother's death. He was found in the house unharmed.
Authorities have not publicly offered a motive for Janet Abaroa's death or said why they believe Raven Abaroa is the suspect.
He has maintained his innocence, saying he was at a soccer game in Morrisville when his wife was killed and that, when he returned home, he found her on the floor and called 911.
After Janet Abaroa's death, Raven Abaroa and his son moved to Utah to be closer to his family.
In September 2008, he remarried. His wife, Vanessa Pond, later went to Durham police, claiming rapid mood swings, verbal abuse and physical violence by Raven Abaroa.
After an argument on Christmas Eve 2008, he and Kaiden left, Pond said.
On Feb. 1, 2010, Durham police arrested him at his new home in Montpelier, Idaho, and he was eventually extradited to Durham, where he is in the Durham County jail under a $3 million bond.
If he's found guilty of first-degree murder, Raven Abaroa will spend the rest of his life in prison.