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Durham court doc: Slain mom Janet Abaroa feared husband

Posted April 22, 2013

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— Four months before she was stabbed to death in her Durham home, Janet Christiansen Abaroa told a friend that she was scared of her husband and was concerned that he might have bipolar disorder.

That's according to Durham County prosecutors who plan to use statements she made to friends in the upcoming first-degree murder trial of her husband, Raven Abaroa, 33.

Janet Abaroa, 25, was found dead in the couple's home on Ferrand Drive in Durham on April 26, 2005. The couple's 6-month-old son, Kaiden, was also at the house but was not harmed.

Raven Abaroa has maintained his innocence, saying he was at a soccer game when his wife was killed and that he called 911 when he found her body that night.

He was arrested Feb. 1, 2010, and goes to trial this week in the nearly 8-year-old case. Jury selection could begin as early as Tuesday.

According to an April 17 notice by the state that it plans to use hearsay evidence at trial, Janet Abaroa confided to others, as early as 2003, that her husband had a temper and anger problems and that "she never knew what she would get each day – the nice Raven or the Raven that was in a complete rage."

Abaroa trial could focus on slain mom's own words

"One day he was swearing and yelling at her and scaring her, and the next, he was on the church stand saying how much he loved his wife," the document says.

The notice goes on to say that Janet Abaroa said Raven Abaroa verbally abused her and held her up against a wall.

She told another friend, according to prosecutors, that Raven Abaroa, at one point, had wanted a divorce and that the couple separated after he cheated on her. Janet Abaroa also expressed concerns about telling him she was pregnant with Kaiden and even considered adoption.

"Janet stated her greatest fear was that her baby would be alone with Raven," prosecutors stated in the notice.

Raven Abaroa's defense on Monday filed a motion to dismiss the case, claiming that, between the time of Janet Abaroa's death and his client's arrest, valuable evidence had been destroyed, released or allowed to deteriorate.

Investigators failed to take fingerprints from Janet Abaroa and released several months after the crime the clothing that Kaiden had been wearing, according to the motion.

It also says that blood stains on the interior door frame leading to the driveway tested positive for DNA that was not Raven Abaroa's.

"The state's failure to properly collect, preserve and analyze evidence in this case has allowed the state to use these errors against Mr. Abaroa and has deprived Mr. Abaroa of the potential for valuable evidence in his favor."

Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson is expected to hear the motion Tuesday morning.

Raven Abaroa's trial is expected to last two to three weeks. If he's found guilty of first-degree murder, he will spend the rest of his life in prison.


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  • Wendellcatlover Apr 23, 2013

    With Hudson hearing the case, Abaroa doesn't have to worry. He'll get off scott free (that is if he's guilty).

  • superman Apr 23, 2013

    I always find it odd in these cases that "she was so afraid" etc and all that but she just stayed.

  • luvbailey Apr 23, 2013

    This should be an interesting case. Hope WRAL will give it adequate coverage.