No death penalty for Raven Abaroa

Raven Abaroa's mug shot after his arrest (Photo courtesy Durham County Sheriff's Office)
March 2, 2010 9:00:00 PM PST
The Durham County District Attorney's Office confirmed to ABC11 Eyewitness News Wednesday that it will not seek the death penalty against Raven Abaroa.

Abaroa made his first court appearance in Durham Tuesday to face a first-degree murder charge and remains jailed under a $5 million bond.

Authorities extradited Abaroa from Idaho on February 26. He was charged in February with the 2005 murder of his pregnant wife, Janet Abaroa. She was found stabbed to death in the couple's Durham home.

Their son, who was 6 months old at the time, was found unharmed, sleeping in a room next to where Janet's body was found.

Raven has always maintained innocence, saying he was participating in a soccer game the night of his wife's murder. He told police when he arrived at home around 11 p.m; he found her body and called police.

Shortly after the murder, Raven moved to Utah, remarried and then moved to Idaho. His second wife eventually separated from him, claiming she believed he killed Janet.

During the years following the murder, Durham police said they never quit working on the investigation, knowing one day they would have enough evidence to make an arrest.

Police have not elaborated on the specifics of the evidence, but say they have a strong case.

A trial date has not been set.

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