Lead detective grilled in Abaroa case

Raven Abaroa enters the courtroom.
May 15, 2013 11:01:11 AM PDT
The jury in the Raven Abaroa murder trial was sent out of the courtroom Wednesday after prosecutors objected to the defense's questioning of the lead detective in the case.

Abaroa, 33, is accused of stabbing his pregnant wife Janet to death in their home on Ferrand Drive back in 2005. The couple's 6-month-old son was in the house at the time, but was not harmed.

Wednesday morning, lead detective Charles Sole underwent an intense cross examination from Abaroa's defense - which has maintained from the beginning of the trial that investigators made some serious missteps.

On the witness stand Tuesday under direct questioning from prosecutors, Sole had explained to the jury how Abaroa came to be the chief suspect in the case by making conflicting statements and through forensic evidence. But the defense has been casting doubt on how detectives interpreted some of that evidence - including the suggestion Janet knew her attacker because there was little sign of a struggle. On the stand Wednesday, Sole explained why he came to that conclusion.

"The nature of her injury was a knife wound. In order to do that, you'd have to be close. Given the account of Mrs. Abaroa's physical ability, [and the fact that] her child is in the next room, I'm pretty sure she's not going to just give up. In general, in a stabbing, there's usually quite a bit of struggle," said Sole.

The disagreement between prosecutors and the defense over the line of questioning arose Wednesday when Abaroa's attorney began asking about a presentation on blood evidence police gave prosecutors before Abaroa was arrested.

Jurors were asked to leave the room. After hearing from both sides, Judge Orlando Hudson decided to allow the questioning and jurors were brought back in.

The case thus far has centered on forensic evidence and the testimony of witnesses who said Abaroa was flirtatious and even had affairs outside of his marriage.

Prosecutors say the couple was having money problems and Abaroa wanted out of the marriage.

Abaroa had denied any involvement in his wife's death and said he was away at a soccer game at the time of the murder.

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