Mistrial declared in Abaroa trial

Raven Abaroa in court

May 31, 2013 8:10:22 PM PDT
A jury of Raven Abaroa's peers told a judge Friday that it could not reach a verdict in his murder trial.

Judge Orlando Hudson declared a mistrial.

Prosecutors say Raven, now 33, killed 25-year-old Janet Abaroa in their home in April, 2005. Their son - then just six months old - was unhurt in another room.

Jurors told Judge Orlando Hudson they were split 11 to one on a decision. Jurors told ABC11 it was 11 for guilty and one holdout who wanted not guilty.

The jury of seven men and five women spent about 10 hours deliberating and were sent back to the jury room two times after first reporting they were deadlocked.

During deliberations, jurors requested several items from the jury room. They wanted to revisit Raven's 911 call from the night of his wife's stabbing death along with photos of the crime scene and the defendant's clothing.

At one point, jurors watched a home video of Raven Abaroa that he recorded himself.

Prosecutors tried to paint Raven as a controlling husband who cheated on his wife and who wanted out of the marriage because of money problems.

Abaroa has maintained he was away at a soccer game when Janet was murdered and had nothing to do with it. The defense claimed police ignored important evidence that led to someone other than Raven as a suspect.

The jury was only considering a first-degree murder charge. There were no lesser options. If Abaroa was found guilty, he would have faced a mandatory life sentence. Prosecutors were not seeking the death penalty. They said they intend to retry him.

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