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Abaroa set to go to trial for wife's 2005 stabbing death

Posted April 22, 2013

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— 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.

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  • Bartmeister Apr 22, 2013

    @mountainlover = barring a confession, I would have an extremely hard time convicting without solid DNA evidence. After all, it is the ONLY provable concrete method isn't it? Circumstantial evidence is subject to interpretation and fallible. Brad Cooper was convicted because he searched an area on Google where his wife was later found. I have done the same exact search of where I live just to see if I could figure out where the future roads are going to connect in my subdivision. If my wife turns up missing and found near by, is that solid evidence for you? A stretch at best.

  • Lamborghini Mercy Apr 22, 2013

    luvbailey - This is going to be an interesting case to watch. The prosc hasn't said much about what evidence they have. Hope they've got more than just his 2nd wife saying he had bad mood swings.

    I do think he had Embezzlement charges too, which is likely the reason he stuck out on the suspect chart. Typical motives in situations like this.

  • mountainlover Apr 22, 2013

    Some folks just do not have the ability to convict without DNA evidence. They cannot put the pieces of circumstantial evidence together and come up with a logical conclusion. It is rather amazing to me. And even with DNA evidence, there are those defense lawyers that can convince some that the DNA was planted.

  • luvbailey Apr 22, 2013

    This is going to be an interesting case to watch. The prosc hasn't said much about what evidence they have. Hope they've got more than just his 2nd wife saying he had bad mood swings.

  • Lamborghini Mercy Apr 22, 2013

    Bartmeister - Also if I remember correctly, there was zero DNA evidence to link him to the crime scene. Resembles the cases of Brad Cooper and Jason Young........

    Yeah sounds a bit like the Jason Young's case. Perhaps they'll become cellmates.

  • SailbadTheSinner Apr 22, 2013

    About the “zero DNA evidence”, IMHO another interesting side-effect of CSI-type TV programming and the Internet....

    Your "high-end" criminal has done a bit of homework and knows what can trip him up....

    Now, I’ve always supported education, but really .... ;-)

    On the other side, I’ve seen some reverse logic that is more than a little troubling, for example, “He is just SO clean that he MUST have been involved....”

    STS

  • Bartmeister Apr 22, 2013

    Also if I remember correctly, there was zero DNA evidence to link him to the crime scene. Resembles the cases of Brad Cooper and Jason Young.............

  • Bartmeister Apr 22, 2013

    Eight years?