Sources tell ABC11 that plea deal is 'on table' in Raven Abaroa murder case

Durham man accused of killing his wife more than eight years ago.
March 11, 2014 10:06:37 AM PDT
Sources tell ABC11 that a plea deal is "on the table" in the retrial of a Durham man accused of killing his wife more than eight years ago.

Negotiations between prosecutors and defense attorneys are taking place ahead of a motions hearing that is set for Wednesday in the case against Raven Abaroa. Last June, Abaroa rejected a plea deal that would have had him plead guilty to second-degree murder charges.

Abaroa has maintained his innocence, denying he fatally stabbed his pregnant wife, 25-year-old Janet, in their Durham home in April 2005.

In May 2013, a judge declared a mistrial in Abaroa's first trial when jurors couldn't reach a unanimous verdict. 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.

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.

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