tv 2020 ABC August 9, 2014 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT
what he was looking for? would this be the piece of evidence to finally answer the question, who killed janet abaroa? >> announcer: stay with us as a cold case suddenly turns to ice in a courtroom. >> stab wound in her chest. >> the new wife still alive but now in fear for her life. >> are you convinced you would have been the next victim? >> and their baby-faced husband. >> raven aboroa is a horrible husband. but an adulter does not a murder make. >> was he yielding the knife in real life movies. tonight, a trail of frightened mistresses in court. >> if something happens to me,
will they be able to find -- >> the dead wife's own bombshell secret. and an old flame sending flirty e-mails. how does he fit in. what? are you serious? "20/20" saturday continues. "sleeping with the enemy." once again. john quinones. >> while the baby sleeping in the next room, while her husband because out. could the one clue that finally breaks it all open, come from the brave? the people who love janet agreed to her body's exhumation, and say they won't stop until they know why she was killed and who did it. ♪ >> reporter: it started with two student athletes meeting in college. >> raven swept her off her feet. he was prince charming, and she
fell for him hard. >> reporter: the romance blossoms quickly. raven abaroa and janet christiansen are married before they even graduate. soon they have a son, kaiden. then, on the evening of april 26th, 2005, the unthinkable. >> durham 911, where is your emergency? >> my wife, she's dead. i'm at home. she's been shot or something. there's blood everywhere. >> janet abaroa was found inside her ferrand drive home last. >> with appeared to be a stab wound in her chest. >> durham police have not named any suspects but will only say her murder was not random. >> reporter: just days after the murder, raven and his son move to utah, and soon he takes a second wife, vanessa. >> he just left town. and not only left town, but 2,000 miles away. >> and he had never told me how
she had died, he just told me that she had died. and so i took it upon myself to look it up. and got a little more information than i bargained for. >> reporter: while vanessa was learning all about raven in salt lake, the entire community of durham kept looking for answers. a vigil does little to heal the wounds. >> by our presence here, we are saying that the passage of time does not mean that this case will go unanswered. it does not mean that janet will be forgotten. >> reporter: despite promises from city officials, weeks became months, and months became years. all the while police failed to name a single suspect. >> it was frustrating and upsetting. and it was also sad for us because we wanted justice for my sister.
>> reporter: even worse, janet's family are certain they know who's responsible, the very man they all welcomed into their family with open arms. any doubt in your minds that raven killed your sister? >> all: no. >> raven abaroa was a horrible husband to his wife, janet, before her death. there is no doubt about that. now, defense attorneys will tell you an adulterer does not a murderer make. but i will tell you that an adulterer more often will end up a murderer, and that is in fact the case with abaroa. i've asked this question so many times, i've quit asking it. what happened to divorce? why not just get a divorce? >> reporter: meanwhile, in salt lake, the ink on vanessa's marriage license hasn't even dried when she knows she's made a mistake. she lives in constant fear of raven, whose anger goes from 0 to 60 in a second.
>> he started getting physical with pushing around, and i would watch, the light just disappears from his eyes, and he becomes another person. and that thought is terrifying. >> reporter: are you convinced you would have been his next victim? >> yeah. >> reporter: after bouncing around between four different lead investigators, the abaroa murder case finally lands in detective charles sole's lap. >> the case originated in '05, and i think i got on the case in 2010. and i kind of ran with it. the common sense stuff in the case, it just didn't add up. >> reporter: sole becomes convinced janet's family was right all along. one of more intriguing bits of evidence was there from the beginning -- the $500,000 life
insurance policy that raven took out on janet just months before her murder. >> well, i mean, he was a fraud guy. when i got the case, i dug back on one of the first police incidents he was involved in. i believe it was smithfield, virginia, a small town that, a vehicle that he's financing just spontaneously combusts. and an insurance claim is made from it. and then he lands this job where he eventually is charged with embezzlement. again, it's important for this case. it's kind of one of the building blocks that you look at, because i think that that was a big part of the motive, is the financial situation with raven. >> reporter: but there's one little detail that blows up raven's story. he told police janet was getting ready to go to bed when he left her the night of her murder. but sole notices for the first time in crime scene photos that janet's contact lens case is empty. >> she always took out her contacts before going to bed, and i mean always.
we shared a bathroom all through high school. we went to college together. we shared hotel rooms. she always took out her contacts. >> reporter: there is only one way for sole to find out if janet's contacts were still in when she was killed. >> the exhumation was something that, you know, we didn't want to have to do unless we felt like it was going to be necessary. and the family was supportive of it. >> the body of janet abaroa is being exhumed tonight. >> reporter: janet's body is taken to the medical examiner, who has a eureka moment. >> we were able to find that, in fact, that she did have her contacts still in. in fact, that it was a hard contact, that it would be totally unusual and painful for someone to leave them in. >> reporter: and remember that throwing knife raven mailed to sole. the medical examiner used that new piece of evidence to make another discovery. >> the throwing knife was
significant because of its design. they're typically not a sharp knife. they're usually double edged. we did some tool marking based on the bones that were -- that were cut to match them up with the knife that had been sent to us. >> reporter: investigators were unable to prove if this was the knife that killed janet, but it was consistent with the type of knife used in the murder. the knife, the contacts, the insurance policy, the holes in raven's story, and his erratic behavior, yes, it's all circumstantial, but for sole it's enough. sole heads west to arrest raven abaroa for murder four and a half years before janet was stabbed to death. >> i'd never really had face-to-face with raven at the time.
when i explained to him who i was and where i was from and then, you know, presented him with a warrant. i mean, he was, you know, visibly nervous and shooken. >> reporter: raven is cuffed and extradited to north carolina where he is charged with first-degree murder. when we come back, raven abaroa's romantic life goes on trial. a trail of mistresses come forward to tell how they were terrified of raven. >> we pulled off and eventually we ended up, and i just kept going like this and saying okay, if something happens to me they'll be able to find my dna or something, knowing i was here. >> reporter: see what's next. new car smell ert and the freedom of the open road? a card that gave you that "i'm 16 and just got my first car" feeling. presenting the buypower card from capital one. redeem earnings toward part or even all of a new chevrolet, buick, gmc or cadillac - with no limits. so every time you use it,
you're not just shopping for goods. you're shopping for something great. learn more at buypowercard.com with crest 3d white luxe toothpaste. only crest 3d white has whitelock technology. it removes stains within the microfine lines of your teeth... and locks out future stains. crest 3d white luxe toothpaste. life opens up with a whiter smile. crest 3d white luxe toothpaste. ♪ z i'm m-a-r-y and i have copd. i'm j-e-f-f and i have copd. i'm l-i-s-a and i have copd, but i don't want my breathing problems to get in the way of hosting my book club. that's why i asked my doctor about b-r-e-o. once-daily breo ellipta helps increase airflow from the lungs for a full 24 hours.
and breo helps reduce symptom flare-ups that last several days and require oral steroids, antibiotics, or hospital stay. breo is not for asthma. breo contains a type of medicine that increases risk of death in people with asthma. it is not known if this risk is increased in copd. breo won't replace rescue inhalers for sudden copd symptoms and should not be used more than once a day. breo may increase your risk of pneumonia, thrush, osteoporosis, and some eye problems. tell your doctor if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure before taking breo. ask your doctor about b-r-e-o for copd. first prescription free at mybreo.com still running in the morning? yeah. getting your vegetables every day? when i can. [ bop ] [ male announcer ] could've had a v8. two full servings of vegetables for only 50 delicious calories. two full servings of vegetables ♪[upbeat music]
unlimit your fitness potential with the new samsung galaxy s5 sport. switch to sprint's unlimited framily plan and get $150 back. happy connecting. no one offers more than sears. it's the only place where you get the top 10 advantage, that guarantees the best price on all top 10 appliance brands. and only sears is the proud home of kenmore, the most awarded brand in the industry. hurry to sears today to get up to 25% off kenmore appliances, and 10% off other top appliance brands. plus, get up to 25% off vacuums. and for more hot deals, call star-star-sears now on your mobile phone and start shopping. sears. performance starts here.
>> reporter: raven abaroa is finally in chains and stripes and officially charged with the first-degree murder of his wife. >> tonight jury selection is under way in the raven abaroa murder trial. >> reporter: but janet's family still can't rest easy. >> i was concerned. because a lot of the evidence was circumstantial, but i felt that if the jury looked at the evidence and all the circumstantial evidence objectively, they would see that it was him. >> reporter: in april of 2013, eight years after janet's murder, the trial is finally set to begin. janet's family packs the courtroom. erika gets chills when she sees raven for the first time in years. >> he never -- he never looked at me. he never looked at my sister. the whole time. i mean, an innocent man would want to reach out to the family and say, "i didn't do this." >> reporter: at the defense table, raven is cool, calm and confident.
durham county prosecutor charlene coggins-frank calls raven's old boss from sports endeavors hoping the jury will see another side of the defendant. after all, this wasn't his first time in court. >> our accounting department had found four orders that raven had placed for himself and they hadn't received the payment for, and that was the first big red flag. >> reporter: wilson says he dug further and found several more unpaid orders for sporting equipment. >> and there were a lot going to 2606 ferrand drive. we knew something was going on, something criminal was going on, at that time. >> reporter: next, the state calls one of janet's closest friends, adrienne nelson. she describes how janet lived in constant fear. >> she was concerned that raven was bipolar and that he would not take his medication. she didn't know what she was
going to get from day to day, but that most of the time if it was good she was waiting for it to get bad again. "i can't stand to look at you, get out. i don't want to be around you. i don't wan to see you." and then the next week he is up on the stand at church sharing how much he loved his wife and how much she meant to him. >> reporter: chillingly, adrienne describes her last conversation with janet. >> i spoke to her the day of her murder. i felt like something was wrong. >> and what'd you do? >> i asked her, i said, "is raven being nice to you? is he treating you good?" and i asked her like three times, and she wouldn't answer me. she would turn it back on kaiden. >> reporter: the prosecution keeps swinging. to prove raven couldn't be trusted, they parade his ex-girlfriends before the jury to further dismantle his character. >> did he flirt with you?
>> yes. >> did you flirt back with him? >> yes. >> reporter: jennifer walker says she dated raven while he was taking a timeout from his marriage and living on his own. >> how soon after he moved into that apartment did you and the defendant become physical? >> pretty soon. >> reporter: anabel haviza was a minor, just 17 when she started seeing raven, but being the other woman made her nervous. >> what if your wife finds out? what if she looks at your cell phone records or anything like that? >> reporter: but she says raven abaroa knew how to cover his tracks. >> he said, "i've got a different sim card that i use, and i switch out the sim card so she won't ever know that i text-messaged you or called you." >> reporter: then, annabel panicked. in his car late one night, anabel said he aggressively pressured her into sex. >> we pulled off and eventually
we ended up having sex. and i just wanted it to be over. and i just kept going like this, and saying -- okay, if something happens to me i'll leave my hair in here. something, you know, so if they search the car then they'll be able to find my dna or something knowing that i was here. >> reporter: after that night she says she never saw raven again. >> the whole thing makes me feel small and little. i just wanted to be done with it. >> reporter: tim dowd, the neighbor, once so close to raven he considered him to be like a son, is in court almost every day. he's astonished by anabel's story. >> the hair in the back of my head was standing up. i had chills. i think that what happened to her, again, part of the mosaic, you know, if you put your nose up to a mosaic, you're not going to see anything.
but as you back away, and start putting these pieces together, in a circumstantial case, which this is, you put them together, and back away, it tells a story and tells a pattern. >> reporter: now, an unexpected witness would add to that mosaic. what was it like being in the courtroom and seeing raven? >> that was very hard. >> reporter: how did he look? >> he looked cold. if an innocent man were sitting in the courtroom hearing all of this about his own wife, shouldn't he be heartbroken? >> reporter: vanessa has not only had her marriage to raven annulled, today she is actually a star witness against him, testifying to his physical and psychological abuse.
>> he told me how much he hated me and how much he didn't care if i died. and he expressed how much he wanted to hit me. and he swung his hand back. and he stopped right before he hit my face, and he got in my face and laughed at me for flinching. i then had to compose myself and be late to my bridal shower. it was very painful. and oddly enough, i still felt conflicted. >> reporter: still?
>> i knew that it was the right thing. and i knew exactly how i felt about it. and i knew that he had done it. i knew he was responsible. >> reporter: but you had once loved this man? >> i had once believed he was the love of my life. and that confliction was very, very strange to feel. >> reporter: it is emotional testimony, but the unbelievable surprise is still ahead, a bombshell that shocks the courtroom. >> she went to the doctor. she cried and said it wasn't going to be good, that raven wasn't going to be happy that she was pregnant. >> statistics show that the number one cause of death of pregnant women is homicide. something about the wife becoming pregnant escalates the tensions within the home. it can become just too much for certain people, and by that i mean certain men. >> reporter: we'll be right back. what you see is brilliant, luminous haircolor. what you get is so much more.
garnier olia. the first permanent haircolor powered by oil. brilliant color, visibly improved hair color after color. olia propels color deep inside your hair. brilliant, luminous color. and grays? 100% gone. my hair feels healthier, looks shinier. olia after olia. garnier olia. brilliant color. visibly improved hair. color after color. ahh! excellent choicecial. a true classic.proved hair. it's back to school time and back to the morning rush. and for you, or not. takeout. get a smarter start to school with kellogg's® cereal's and jimmy dean breakfast favorites. unbeatable prices guaranteed by savings catcher. walmart. walked in to a mcdonald's and discovereden an extraordinary burger with heaps of jalapeños... ...for only two dollars. within minutes, they had also discovered the phenomenon of "economnomnomics" nomnom... nom? nom nom
the jalapeño double, try it now for just $2 on mcdonald's dollar menu and more. it's economnomnomcial. ♪ nom...nom...nom... choose nexium twenty-foureople hour for frequent heartburn. i'd always wanted the protection of the purple pill® now, i have it. get nexium level protection ™ and for a limited time save six dollars at nexium24hr.com so what ya got on deck? skyfall. lean in, then some pinterest, you?
twitter. minecraft and then some hunger games. boom. wow, you guys are all set, huh? oh yeah, new amazon fire phone. it comes with amazon prime - tons of cool stuff for no extra charge. really? it comes with amazon prime? yeah, there's so much to watch. i've been on this earth nine years, i've never seen anything like it. the new amazon fire phone, with a full year of prime included. exclusively on at&t. with roc multi correxion 5 in 1. hydrate dryness, illuminate dullness, lift sagging, diminish the look of dark spots, and smooth the appearance of wrinkles. roc® multi correxion 5 in 1. high performance skincare™. now for a flawless look, roc perfecting cream. the only bb cream with the wrinkle fighting power of roc retinol. new from roc. enjoy dinner with dancing.
>> announcer: "20/20" saturday continues with "sleeping with the enemy." here again john quinones. >> reporter: in the weeks before she was murdered, janet was keeping a secret from all but her closest family and friends. she was pregnant with her second child, a girl. she also died that night. >> i did not know that she was pregnant. she did not tell us. >> it wasn't just the issue of killing his wife, janet. there was the unborn child that he slaughtered, slaughtered and left there to die along with his wife, the mother of his child, the unborn child who never had a chance. why?
>> reporter: cathy cheek says janet came to her for advice. >> she went to the doctor. she cried and said it wasn't going to be good, raven wasn't going to be happy that she was pregnant because he didn't want a child at that time. >> reporter: the trail starts here. they draw a straight line from the abaroa's money problems to janet's pregnancy to that life insurance policy. >> he is used to living high on the hog. he is used to stealing, getting his money. he is not used to having to struggle for money. it's not just financial problems. it's called greed. "i need more greed." then you got insurance. he couldn't afford anything else, but he kept paying that. he was biding his time, he was waiting. problem with that is janet got pregnant again. >> i think that raven thought that the grass was going to be greener on the other side of the fence. and i think what raven saw is the ability to collect this money. >> reporter: next, the state
presents evidence they believe shows raven carefully planned his alibi and crafted the home robbery story. janet's sister sonja says raven and kaiden stayed with her shortly after janet's murder. she found his behavior strange. >> i felt like he wasn't fully cooperating with the detectives so i went through his belongings. >> reporter: remember raven reported his laptop stolen. sonja says when raven was out, she looked in his bag and found several computer disks. >> i looked at the disks on the computer, one of the disks appeared to be a backup of his hard drive. on the outside of the disks they were dated 4/25/05, which was the day before her murder. all the files had modified date, 4/25/05, which, like i said, was alarming to me because one of the things the detective first told us was they didn't believe it was a break-in because the only thing missing was his laptop and knives. >> he downloads, backs up all of
his files off of his laptop onto disks just hours before his laptop is "stolen" and his wife is murdered by an "intruder." >> reporter: for the state, this is yet another piece of the mosaic showing raven planning the murder 24 hours prior. >> that's how he spent his day, ladies and gentlemen, on april 25th, 2005, dropping and dragging so he could get everything on that disk. he knew what he was going to do. he knew what he was going to do the next day. he couldn't lose his computer stuff. so he backed up his computer stuff. >> reporter: the day of the murder raven says he took off from work. he spends the day watching kaiden and running errands. but before he left for his soccer game that night, he did something he never did before. he locks the two family guard dogs in the shed. >> do you know whether they stayed inside or outside? >> janet said they stayed inside.
she said while raven was away at games she liked to keep him in the house because she felt protected. >> reporter: the dogs always spent the night here, in the crates under the kitchen counter. it's another inconsistency in raven's behavior. >> the dogs. at night those dogs are inside in a kennel. why was this night so much different than the others? because he was going to murder her. >> reporter: raven told detective benny bradley, the first homicide investigator to work the case, that his soccer game started at 9:00 p.m. the field is a half-hour drive from his house. >> raven indicate he got to the game location with just enough time to warm up before the game started. he indicated the game lasted an hour. after the game he left the sports arena and only made one stop before he arriving home, and the purpose of the stop was to buy gatorade. >> reporter: detective bradley interviewed several players who said raven was at the game. he also pulled surveillance
video from the convenience store that proves raven did stop to buy a drink. but detective sole thinks that video is more proof of raven's planning. remember those phone conversations he had with raven? >> he tells me in a phone conversation, "well, you knew where i was at, you know, afterward because i went to the gas station, and it was video'd." and i am saying to myself, "well, where would you have known that?" again, i go back to the staging. he's a smart enough to know he has got to document where he is at. he can't have gaps from when he gets to the soccer game and when he leaves. that he has to account for this time so he is documenting that. >> reporter: but with all that planning, raven still made one huge mistake. when he first spoke to police, he said janet was dead when he found her. >> he said once he entered the residence he made his way down the hall toward the master bedroom and the office. he stated that he saw janet's eyes were open and her lips were blue.
>> reporter: now, listen to what he told mike guzman, an advisor from the church who rushed to raven's side just hours after the murder. >> he said he came home and went upstairs and found janet on the floor and he immediately grabbed her. i believe he said to me that she had asked him, "why do i hurt so bad?" and his response was, "i don't know." >> the jury, when they heard that, they were shocked. i mean, they were shocked. in a conversation, you know, five or six or eight hours afterwards, he tells guzman that janet says to him, "why does this hurt so much?" and it's like, how could janet say that, because you said when you found her, she was dead. i mean, you can't have it both ways.
>> reporter: at this point, the prosecution feels it's done its job. they have proven their case against raven. but there is one more curveball team abaroa throws at them, a new possible suspect. >> did anyone ask you to submit a dna sample or fingerprints or anything for exclusionary purposes? >> no, no. no one's asked. >> reporter: see what's next. >> announcer: what do you think, innocent or guilty? and do you think brand-new evidence -- yes, there's more -- could possibly change your mind? tweet us at # we'll be right back. a once-daily capsule for adults about linze- with ibs with constipation or chronic idiopathic constipation. linzess is thought to help calm pain-sensing nerves
and accelerate bowel movements. it helps you proactively manage your symptoms. do not give linzess to children under 6, and it should not be given to children 6 to 17. it may harm them. don't take linzess if you have a bowel blockage. get immediate help if you develop unusual or severe stomach pain especially with bloody or black stools. the most common side effect is diarrhea, sometimes severe. if it's severe, stop taking linzess and call your doctor right away. other side effects include, gas, stomach-area pain and swelling. bottom line, ask your doctor about linzess today. ♪ he's excited for saving at staples for back to school. they're excited. ♪ these guys are super excited. because when you get rulers for less... ♪ comp books for less... ♪ and filler paper for less, all at guaranteed low prices, you can't help but show it.
foster farms chicken gets to the store in 48 hours or less. but it's 4 days to california. there's got to be another way. that could be any number of items, quite frankly. you know if this flight is less than 48 hours? i surwhat?e so.? foster farms. celebrating 75 years. always natural. always fresh. join the celebration at take75.com diverted to minneapolis... i think my giblets are frozen.
>> announcer: "sleeping with the enemy continues" once again john quinones. who killed janet aboroa. although this is rarely like cases you see in the movies this has a twist worthy of a screen play. the jury is about to get a surprise. >> reporter: the prosecution is about to rest in north carolina versus raven abaroa when the proceedings come to a screeching halt. someone in the d.a.'s office discovers a long-forgotten hard drive from janet's computer. >> as soon as the state became aware on thursday morning that these items did exist we immediately brought it to the court's attention, and it was turned over thursday afternoon. >> reporter: the drive is analyzed. among the many files are e-mails between janet and her ex from college, scott hall. >> mrs. abaroa and a former boyfriend of hers. they are e-mailing each other every single day, and they are trying to hide this.
some of the e-mails are flirty, some are sexual in nature. >> janet dated him for a very long time. and she was always, i guess you would say flirtatious with scott. and, you know, she still communicated with him, but when raven moved in she officially ended it with scott to start dating raven. >> reporter: the defense smells a rat. they immediately ask the judge to toss out the case, arguing the state purposely hid this side of janet to build there case against raven. >> withholding those e-mails has allowed the state, through its witnesses, to present a very dishonest portrait of mrs. abaroa, a dishonest portrait of my client and a dishonest portrait of their relationship. let's create a portrait of him as this dominating, controlling, awful person. by doing so that helps us convince the jury, well, no one else could have done it. it has to be him.
>> reporter: the defense is passionate, but in the end -- >> the motion for mistrial in the court's discretion is denied. >> reporter: the judge believes the state was guilty of nothing more than sloppy record keeping. but with the new evidence, the defense has a face for their intruder theory. was scott hall a jealous ex-lover? >> the defense tried to paint it to be as if she were in some type of relationship with an ex-boyfriend. and you know, could this guy have done this, you know, because that relationship wasn't moving forward. that was, i think, their presentation of a possible suspect. >> one of the things you talked about in these e-mails was other people not finding out about the e-mails, right? >> that's correct. >> and specifically you didn't want your wife to find out about them. >> of course not. >> let me ask you something mr. hall, is this the woman you dated for three years in high school, correct?
>> that's correct. >> and these text messages are march 3rd, 2005. so less than 60 days later, she was murdered. is that right? >> yes. >> did anyone ask you to submit a dna sample or fingerprints or anything for exclusionary purposes? >> no, but i'd be happy to do it. but no, no one's asked. >> nothing further. >> reporter: maybe no one asked scott for his dna because he was in virginia and nowhere near durham the night janet was murdered. >> where were you on april 26th, 2005? >> i was home. >> and why were you home? >> i had injured my back the weekend prior so i was pretty much bedridden. i couldn't walk. >> nothing further, your honor. >> reporter: the defense went on to argue that raven might have been a philanderer and a cad, but that doesn't make him a murderer. they continue to hammer away at the intruder theory, raising the unidentified bloody footprint.
>> we do know that all of raven's shoes were tested that night, and there was no blood on the bottom of those shoes. that is a footprint that is not identified and has not yet been identified. >> reporter: but the state shows the jury one crime scene photo in particular which may explain why a match for that footprint was never found. >> the defense told you they tested all the defendants shoes. none of these were tested. none of them. and what do you see right there? he had time to plan. he had time to act. he had time to clean up. >> reporter: but the defense isn't giving up. they say the state had it in for raven from the beginning, and they hold up janet's missing hard drive as exhibit "a." >> let's talk about what that hard drive represents because it symbolizes as much as anything the prosecution in this case. it shows a pattern of the way the state deals with information
when it points away from raven abaroa. >> reporter: the defense went on picking the state's case apart bit by bit, blowing up the carefully constructed mosaic. >> without the presumption of innocence everything is suspect. when you back up a computer disk that becomes suspect. leaving the dogs outside somehow that is suspect. lots of people have the kind of financial problems that they were having. lots of people when they have their first born buy life insurance. everything is suspect when you are presumed guilty. >> reporter: but the prosecution lands one more blow with the retelling of janet's last moments on earth. they say the killer was raven waiting on the second floor. >> he calls her upstairs. he's waiting for her with the knife. come up stairs, janet. bam. she never saw it coming. she clutches her chest she goes down to her knees at this point. what does he do? he comes up behind her.
he's got to finish it. he's already started it, he's going for her neck. she is trying to block it. he stabs through her finger. it ends up making a little mark. she falls face down. that's what this defendant did. >> reporter: they list the motives for raven wanting to kill his wife. an unhappy marriage with an unwanted baby on the way and a deep financial hole. did that $500,000 insurance policy he took out on janet offer a way out? they again drag out raven's bizarre video where he seems to be hoping for a payday. >> i need to win the lottery, you know, and if i were to win $3 million i would dedicate $2 million to fighting this. that's what i need, because this fight, you need money, you need -- you need power. >> reporter: both sides rest. >> it was a dramtic day of closing arguments.
>> reporter: and after more than five weeks of testimony, the case is now in the hands of the jury. >> verdict watch happing now in the raven abaroa murder trial. >> reporter: when we come back, a juror brings us inside the deliberation room. >> we were all pretty unanimous in that the defendant had done some fairly reprehensible things. it was just a matter of whether that was to the level of committing murder. >> i would just like to state that i didn't receive a fair trial. >> reporter: don't go anywhere. most beautiful feelings. they can inspire and exhilarate. make you smile. calm you down. lift you up to feeling more. our 37 unique fragrances spark every emotion imaginable. what will glade inspire in you? sc johnson, a family company.
does your mouth often feel dry? a dry mouth can be a side effect of many medications but it can also lead to tooth decay and bad breath. that's why there's biotene. available as an oral rinse, toothpaste, spray or gel, biotene can provide soothing relief, and it helps keep your mouth healthy, too. remember, while your medication is doing you good, a dry mouth isn't. biotene -- for people who suffer from dry mouth. a dry mouth isn't. walmart's new savings catcher. my mom just can't stop talking about you enter your receipt and it compares prices to top stores in our area. if there's a lower advertised price on an item i bought, walmart gives me the difference. it's so easy, even a parent can do it. go to walmart.com/savingscatcher and enter your receipt.
little black holes. never. ever. stick even your pinky finger into one of them. yay! tillamook cheese slices, tastes better because it's made better. foster farms chicken gets to the store in 48 hours or less. but it's 4 days to california. there's got to be another way. that could be any number of items, quite frankly. you know if this flight is less than 48 hours?
i surwhat?e so.? foster farms. celebrating 75 years. always natural. always fresh. join the celebration at take75.com diverted to minneapolis... i think my giblets are frozen. >> announcer: "20/20" saturday continues, once more. john quinones. >> reporter: trial day 34, the state of north carolina versus raven abaroa. behind closed doors, alex cromwell and his fellow jury members are hard at work. >> we were all pretty unanimous in that the defendant had done some fairly reprehensible things. it was just a matter of whether
that was to the level of committing murder. >> reporter: after three days of deliberation raven's fate is finally being decided. janet's sister praying for justice. but the 12 jurors in courtroom 7b deliver a shocking decision. >> i don't think additional time will change our final outcome. >> reporter: the verdict? there is none. the jury deadlocked 11 to 1 in favor of guilty. >> we are a hung jury. >> reporter: the judge has no choice but to declare a mistrial. >> we can't make you reach a verdict. >> reporter: the outcome devastating. raven on the verge on tears, upset at the prospect of another lengthy trial. and behind him, his mother crying. and the other side overcome with emotion, too. janet's mother and sisters sobbing. even worse, the vote was 11 to 1 in favor of guilty.
a single holdout could not be swayed. >> she decided that it was better to let a guilty man go free than it would be to send an innocent man to prison. i disagreed with his interpretation of much of the evidence, but in the end, you know, i respected what she had concluded. >> a lot of times people, in general, think that there has to be this fancy forensic or dna or fingerprints. whereas, you know, the circumstantial evidence is not less effective than direct evidence. 11 to 1, to me, is huge. guilty, 11 to 1 is, it speaks volumes. >> reporter: janet's family, always certain of raven's guilt, is crushed. so when you hear we're going to have to retry the case, what goes through your mind? >> you pretty much collapse. >> dread. definitely dread. it's going to be another long six weeks. >> reporter: a new trial is set to begin in march of this year,
but just days before it's about to start, raven pulls a clever legal maneuver. >> do you plead guilty this morning pursuant to a plea bargain. >> yes. >> a coward's plea. . a high profile murder case is coming to an end tonight. >> reporter: in an about-face as dramatic as his appearance -- he was once a soccer stud, but now not quite the ladies' man. raven abaroa, who always maintained his innocence, took a deal, not for murder but a lesser charge. it's called the alford plea. >> it's when a defendant neither admits nor denies but accepts punishment on the crime. >> reporter: janet's family reluctantly accepted the deal because they did not want the risk of a not guilty verdict after another long trial. >> i believe that they did not want under any circumstance for raven abaroa to get away or escape justice. is it justice? it's a rough shot at justice.
>> reporter: one by one janet's family and friends speak out in court. this is her father. >> janet missed kaiden's first steps, missed out on kaiden's first words. she missed out on being called mommy. >> reporter: the family, hoping to persuade the judge to deliver the maximum sentence. >> any time that you serve will never be enough for the pain that you have inflicted on my family and all that who loved her. >> the defendant will receive an active sentence of 95 to 123 months. >> reporter: just eight to ten years, the harshest punishment allowed under what janet's family considered a very sweet deal for him. with time already served, raven could be out in less than four years. >> raven abaroa is going to be released from jail. he's going to walk free. in my mind, that makes every woman out there a target.
>> reporter: raven abaroa did not testify at his trial, but now finally breaks his silence to explain why he agreed to the plea deal. >> i would just like to state that i didn't receive a fair trial the first time. i don't think i'll receive a fair trial a second time, and the fact is i love my family very much, and i don't think it's worth risking the possibility of spending the rest of my life in prison for something i didn't do. i take this plea to ensure that doesn't happen. and that's the only reason. i didn't kill my wife. >> he then stood up in court and said he did not kill his wife. then why agree to voluntary manslaughter if you didn't do it? why not fight it? >> reporter: a slap on the wrist for him, but a slap in the face for them, janet's entire family.
>> uh-huh. that was like he was stabbing us right in the heart. >> we've had an open wound. it hasn't been healing at all. and him doing that, doesn't solve it. >> i'm angry for him taking her and him taking kaiden's mom away. i wish that he would have just left. he would've just divorced her and left her alone. he didn't leave her alone, just let her go. >> there is evil in the world. and i think he's an evil person. i think he's done very bad, evil things. >> reporter: janet's gone. he could be out in four to six years. >> correct. >> reporter: capable of doing it again? >> you know, you would hope not. but his record tells us different, doesn't it? >> reporter: raven's second wife, vanessa, also finds little comfort in the deal. were you surprised that he accepted the plea? >> i was shocked. but i was -- more than that, i was shocked at what the plea deal turned out to be. >> reporter: he could be out in
four to six years, huh? >> that's not justice at all. it's not justice. >> reporter: vanessa feels there's no justice because she can't shake the notion that like a bird at midnight raven will one day come tapping, tapping at another victim's chamber door. your advice to women who come in contact with him? >> please don't be drawn in. and please get away as fast, as fast as you can. don't walk, run, before you're caught in the trap. i was lucky enough to get out. janet was not.
i didn't even know littlit was dirty -ars. it didn't look dirty. although it did start to smell a little funny. not this! the machine! it was filthy. i was washing our clothes in a dirty, dirty machine. i was a dirty little washer. then i discovered tide washing machine cleaner. it removes the dirt and grime that gets trapped in the drum. i use it monthly and our laundry smells divine. clean clothes start with a clean machine. bananas... rice cakes...
raspberries... toast! [ kelly ] jif hazelnut spread makes anything your new favorite thing. spoons! which is why this choosy mom chooses jif. every time you take advil spoons! you're taking the medicine doctors recommend most for joint pain. more than the medicine in aleve or tylenol. the medicine in advil is the number one doctor recommendation for joint pain. relief doesn't get any better than this. advil
several people injured after a fire truck flips over. witnesses call it a miracle. every mercedes-benz is made with the highest level of engineering... design... safety... and performance. our latest creation is no different. with one exception... introducing the mercedes-benz b-class. it's electric! it's electric! the first electric vehicle from mercedes-benz. foster farms chicken gets to the store in 48 hours or less. but it's 4 days to california. there's got to be another way. that could be any number of items, quite frankly. you know if this flight is less than 48 hours? i surwhat?e so.? foster farms. celebrating 75 years. always natural. always fresh. join the celebration at take75.com