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tv   2020  ABC  March 29, 2019 9:00pm-11:00pm PDT

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why was this night so much different than the others? because he was going to murder her. >> we wish you the best and the warmest feelings this holiday season. janet, what would you like to say? ♪ >> 911, where is your emergency? >> my wife, she's dead! >> my reaction was, raven has killed janet. >> but then he married this won. >> did he say she was murdered? >> this is the first time you're
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spending with your husband, and the biggest topic is the deceased wife. that's a red flag. >> get out now. >> i was heartbroken. >> i was like, he's going to get away with it. >> there's only one way to find out. the body of janet abaroa is going to be exhumed tonight. >> she can't even rest after she's dead. >> someone who had pretty convincingly killed his wife, is getting off almost scott-free. ♪ so, this is a typical college love story at southern virginia university. >> raven abaroa and janet christianson met in
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college. they were both athletes, both very attractive and he was smitten by her right away. >> raven swept her off her feet. she was convinced that he was the one. he's very charismatic. he knows how to talk to people. he was prince charming and she fell for him hard. >> she came from a big family, big, close-knit mormon family. >> janet was a confident young woman. you even see it in the photographs, right? you see this beautiful smile, you see this warm spirit, and janet's family described her as such. that she was smart, she was friendly, she loved people. >> she loved children. she had an opportunity to watch all of mine as they grew up. it's not just that she loved them. i mean, they all gravitate towards her. they loved her. >> janet was funny. she was sweet. she was kind. she treated everyone with respect.
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she made me laugh a lot. >> outgoing? >> definitely. definitely she was outgoing. soccer, swimming, basketball. she was -- yeah. she was into a lot of sports and very outgoing with that. >> she already had a boyfriend but he was very persistent in pursuing her, and finally cracked that veneer that she had. >> raven abaroa can be charming. he can be charismatic. he will win you over. he will make the room like him. >> what would she say about him? >> she was just was just infatuated. i mean, he has this going for him. he's -- he was going to be successful. >> he tried very hard to make everybody believe he had a perfect life. >> i was wary of him, my first impression was, why is he trying so hard? but i thought, you know, okay, janet likes him. this is her boyfriend. >> he made janet happy, and i
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loved seeing that. >> raven talked about his courtship with janet to a local north carolina news program. >> she was beautiful, attractive. i just felt so much comfort when i was with her. >> it's the perfect equation, if you will. attractive young woman, attractive young man. we share the same faith, so for raven and janet it just seemed like a natural progression of their friendship. >> they got married at a very young age and decided to live their life together. >> the fact that raven was mormon, that mattered to her. >> raven had won over janet's family by talking about what a devoted mormon he was, that he'd gone and done mission work including in peru. >> she married in the washington, d.c., temple and always carried the spirit of christ with her everywhere she went. >> life for the two of them
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began in the small colonial town called smithfield, virginia. they went to the local church. they made lots of friends with their neighbors. >> we were just part of a big family. raven and janet both came from big families and they didn't have any family in the immediate area, so they kind of adopted us. janet said, "you know, raven looks up to you, tim, as a father." >> hey everybody, merry christmas. >> there's this video christmas card they sent out, and they look very happy. they look like a loving couple. the picture of the perfect marriage. >> we wish you the best and the warmest feelings this holiday season. janet, what would you like to say? >> i would like to say merry christmas and happy new year. >> raven proudly shows off one of his presents, a new knife to add to his collection. >> that's my new knife. i got it for christmas, thank you, i bought it myself. my dad would be very proud. i like to collect knives. >> yeah, he appeared to have his act together. i mean, he was young, newly married, had bought their first home, had a couple nice cars and
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a motorcycle. and, like, "wow, this guy's kind of off to a pretty fast start." >> they decide to move to durham to take jobs with a sporting goods company, and they find a house there out in the suburbs. >> but just 3 1/2 into their marriage, raven tells janet that he's having an affair. he's committed adultery. >> he came to her one day, because he wanted to be out of the marriage, and explained to her that he had been cheating on her with several different people. so he ended up leaving. and very soon after that she found out she was pregnant. >> she didn't know what to do. she didn't want to raise the baby as a single mother. >> he leaves, she's left alone, she doesn't know who to turn to, and then confides in some of her neighbors. the only people that are close to her. >> you could tell she wanted -- she needed somewhere to go. she was crying, very distraught. and she told me she loved raven and that she didn't want to have this child by herself. >> janet has to debate with
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herself. do i stay with this person who has disrespected our vows, our covenant? or do i try to salvage what's left of my family, even though it's a tenuous relationship at this point? >> and i kind of read him the riot act in a major way. you know, "what the hell do you think you're doing?" you're married, your wife is pregnant, you need to grow up real quick. >> he promised, swore up and down, that he would no longer cheat on her, that she was the only one for him. he would make it work. and soon after, you know, kaiden was born. >> after he moved back in, according to janet, it was a day by day process. so, she really never knew what to expect. i wouldn't say that she was happier in her marriage, but she was happy to be a mother. >> he told me on several phone calls that janet and him had mended the fence. he realized what the problems were, it was lack of communication, he's grown up, they're going to make this work.
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>> janet didn't know it, but her youngest brother mark christiansen says he had already witnessed raven's mood swings. he says one day raven accused him of stealing money and then things turned violent. >> he just snapped. he started saying the craziest things to me, and it still haunts me to this day. he said, "you don't know who i really am, and what i'm capable of." and i just stared at him, and grabbed me really hard, and slammed my head against the wall. i was scared, i was a scrawny little teenager. i've never seen someone's eyes turn like that before, just full of rage, full of hate. >> mark says he never told janet, because he didn't want to add trouble to an already fragile relationship. the couple is now back together, but raven is stressed about money. >> they go to the church for help, and they're actually able to get financial assistance from the church. their landlord is very gracious as well, giving them two months' free rent so that they don't have to worry about that.
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but things were really tough. financially speaking, things were really tough. >> raven's boss discovered that there was some unaccounted-for inventory that was missing, he had been stealing merchandise. >> raven was caught embezzling. apparently he saw this as a way to overcome some financial troubles in this young marriage. >> raven then ultimately pleads guilty to the theft charges. raven appears to be sort of the ultimate opportunist. people like him. they're basically antisocial, they don't really care, and they're going to do whatever makes them feel good or makes them money. >> one spring night, april 26th, 2005, he says he's going to go play soccer and janet is at home getting ready to go to bed. >> and that's where the story takes a turn for the worse. liev. that we're playing "four on four" with a barbershop quartet? [quartet singing] bum bum bum bum... pass the ball... pass the rock..
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raven went off to play an indoor soccer game with his buddies and believed that janet and their baby boy kaiden would be going to bed. he stopped at a convenience store on the way home. >> gets back at 10:00, goes upstairs in their house and finds janet covered in blood. >> 911, where is your emergency?
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>> i'm at home. my wife, she's dead! she's been shot and there's blood everywhere. >> she's been shot? >> yes. >> okay, you're gonna have to calm down. how old is your wife? >> she's 25. >> i'm sending paramedics to help now. stay on the line, i'll tell you exactly what to do. >> raven sounds hysterical. very upset. on the verge of tears. >> he's frantic. he's saying, "janet's dead." >> can you tell how many times your wife has been shot? >> right in the chest. >> she was in a pool of blood. couldn't be saved by the paramedics and first responders who arrived. >> there is another breaking story right now. >> just before 11:00 tuesday night, durham police are called to this ferrand drive home. responding to a call from the victim's husband, raven abaroa. >> when they arrive they find 25-year-old janet abaroa murdered. police aren't saying how she was killed. >> my parents were called, i think, about 5:00 in the morning. and raven was on the phone and they couldn't understand him.
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>> the sight of police tape and investigators in this normally quiet neighborhood came as a shock. >> he was calling to tell them that janet was dead and she had committed suicide. >> i just stared, i couldn't say anything. i was frozen. i think i was in shock the whole day. >> we automatically knew that was not right. she wouldn't have done that to kaiden. >> she never would have killed herself, ever. we knew that wasn't true. >> friends tell us she was married with a newborn baby, and was looking forward to life as a mother. >> i got there. saw the yellow crime lab tape. i was thinking maybe it's not this house, maybe it's next door. but it won't, it was her house. i said, "is it a little tiny blonde-headed girl that's dead?" i didn't want it to be her, but it was. >> hours after the discovery, the body of the young woman was removed from the home. >> we watched as they brought
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her body out of the house. >> the police quickly learned that she's stabbed multiple times. and that's what causes her death. she was not shot. >> investigators captured images inside the house. there are things out on the counter. in particular, her engagement ring and her wedding band are out. you see these pieces of potential evidence scattered throughout this home that's now become a crime scene. >> the police find, when they search the scene, a bloody footprint, a fingerprint. >> noticeably absent is raven's laptop as well as a knife that went missing apparently that night. >> it was clear that this is a homicide. >> police immediately find that there are no signs of forced entry.
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no sign that anyone smashed a window to get in, broke down a door to get in. >> no evidence of anybody else being in the home that wasn't supposed to be there. >> as soon as you came through the door, she'd lock the door. >> you have an entire community rattled, concerned. >> been safe up until now, i guess. >> i just hope they catch whoever done it. >> someone has come in and killed this pretty young mother. there seemed to be very few clues. the killer is somewhere in our community. >> i don't feel safe until they find out who did it. a lot to think about considering the way she was killed. >> janet abaroa was found inside her ferrand drive home with appeared to be a stab wound in her chest. >> janet's family holds a vigil in downtown durham. they want to bring as much attention to this case as they possibly can. >> when kaiden was 5 months old, she brought him by the office to visit. i was holding him and he was looking at his mommy, squealing
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with excitement. >> people wore purple ribbons in honor of jan, her life that was stolen so tragically. ♪ >> at this time, no one has been charged, and the case is still under investigation. it has been classified as a homicide. >> we'd like anybody who has any information to call us, no matter how insignificant they may think it is. >> i kept talking to raven, you've got to help solve this case. >> janet's family is desperate to find out what happened to her, but raven, it seems, not so much. just days after the murder he leaves the state with his little boy kaiden. was it just too painful for him or was he running away? >> his family was in utah, so, to me, i mean, that made logical
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sense. >> but he hasn't helped the police. he hasn't set out a reward of -- you know, help -- help me find my wife's killer. >> my thought is, if somebody were to murder my wife or a child, or any close family member of mine, i'm banging on the police door saying, "what have you done lately?" raven did nothing. he left and never came back. >> raven provided cooperation at the beginning of the investigation, but there've been subsequent requests for interviews that have gone unanswered. >> janet's sisters start playing detective. like amateur sleuths, they discover some things that just don't add up. >> he had taken out a life insurance policy soon after she was pregnant with kaiden. >> and even before his wife is buried, he calls to cash in that life insurance policy. how much was the policy? >> $500,000 on her. >> is he capable of doing that? doing it for the insurance money? >> absolutely. >> any doubt in your minds that raven killed your sister? >> no.
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>> and kaiden, the baby, was in the next room. >> yup. >> how could a father do this? >> it's all about him. it's not about janet and it's not about kaiden. it's about him and his needs and his wants at that point. >> he is a violent person. i've seen that side of him. i've seen the evil in him. >> we would obviously like to talk to raven. he hasn't been ruled out as a person of interest. but it's still an open investigation. >> raven goes on a local fox program called "nc wanted," and makes clear that he's not the killer and that he wants janet's case to be brought to justice. >> the bottom line is that i was not involved with the death of my wife, that i would do anything in the world to keep her here with me and that's something i think the people who truly know me can understand and appreciate. >> and there is physical evidence that seems to back up
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his claim. that bloody footprint doesn't match raven. and the fingerprint found at the scene, unidentified. >> who was that? whose finger was that? ♪ time for medicare, huh. i have no idea how we're going to get through this. follow me. choosing a plan can be super-complicated. but it doesn't have to be. unitedhealthcare can guide you through the confusion, with helpful people, tools and plans. including the only plans with the aarp name. well that wasn't so bad at all. that's how we like it. aarp medicare plans, from unitedhealthcare. aarp medicare plans, for unbeatable natnew nice'n easy.or. now in cream. 100% natural looking color. that lasts 8 weeks. gentle on your hair and scalp. with conditioning in every step. new nice'n easy cream. now nicer, and easier.
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♪ whatever will be, will be ♪ the future's not ours to see ♪ que será, será ♪ what will be, will be ♪ que será, será ♪ whatever will be, will be ♪ que será, seráaaaaa
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to see a young mother killed while her baby slept on the other side of a wall, was rather shocking for everyone. >> this community is still really desperate for answers, wondering where is the justice? where is this killer? this killer is still out there. >> raven moves to utah, where his family is. >> janet's family was troubled by the fact that he wasn't there with them advocating for janet, fighting for answers. >> raven doesn't seem to be taking janet's death too harshly. he's actually back on the dating scene. >> back in durham, everyone is focused on the case or trying to get answers, and raven is in salt lake city. and then you learn that he's fallen in love, that he's started a relationship with a
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young woman named vanessa pond. >> she wasn't interested in a relationship, but she meets raven at the kids' school. her daughter went to school with his son, kaiden. >> i wanted nothing to do with him or the conversation he was trying to have whenever we'd see each other at daycare, picking up our kids. he just started small talking. and he asked me to lunch. >> he charms her, and she feels sorry for him. she feels he's mormon also, like she, and they decide to go ahead, she agrees to have lunch with him. >> raven has a way with women. he has a way of getting them to trust him. he has this pattern of sort of sweeping these women up in this whirlwind. before they know it, they're too invested in the relationship to pay attention to what may be some red flags. >> what was it about him that you liked? >> he seemed very upfront, very honest and genuine.
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and i found out that, you know, he was a single father. and i really, really admired that. i'd been a single mom for five years. i know what it takes to raise a child. i thought maybe i'll give him a chance because he could be a fantastic father, fantastic husband. >> he might be. >> i finally fell for the nice guy, is what i thought. >> did he mention his wife? or what happened to her? >> yes. as we were just starting to date he just mentioned that, "well, i should probably tell you a lot of people think that my wife's not around, because, oh, she's a drug addict or she's crazy, but my wife actually died." i immediately felt so sorry for him and i felt as though i wanted to be there for him. and accept him. and kaiden. and to take them in. and give them all the love that
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they're missing out on. >> did he say she was murdered? >> he said that there was an intruder and that his wife was killed. and that he'd found her. and he left it at that. >> vanessa is the daughter of a cop. vanessa decides to do a little homework, find out about this guy. >> so, my curiosity got the best of me. and i googled her name, and then i googled his name, as well. >> she was stabbed to death. >> stabbed three time. >> stab wound in her chest. >> no one has been ruled out as a suspect. >> she was really rattled when she found out the truth about raven. >> that night i stayed up until about 4:00 in the morning reading blogs, watching his interviews, reading all the news stories about it. and going out of my mind. >> thinking what?
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>> i wasn't convinced that he was innocent. >> and she sees an interview that raven had done with a local tv station back in north carolina. >> i remember watching the interview and i wasn't convinced. in the interview they asked him, you know, what he saw, what he came home to. >> i don't like talking about what happened to her, and it's not because i don't love her and it's not because i don't want to find out who did it. it's because i have so many good memories with her. >> so, i went over and i spoke with him, asked him the questions that i had. and he removed any and every doubt from my mind. he had his stories about how people were trying to frame him. about how horrible the cops were. >> were you worried that this might be a mistake? >> i didn't have a question in my mind at the time. >> vanessa's parents definitely were concerned for the pace of the relationship, so they even
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took it upon themselves to ask raven directly if he was responsible for janet's murder. >> they confront him about this. what happened to janet? what's the real deal here? >> his response was, "uh, he kinda sidestepped the question and he didn't say "yes, i did it" or "no, i didn't do it." >> he said, "i loved my wife. i loved her so much." >> which insinuates that he didn't do it. but he didn't come right out and say that he didn't. >> he was in tears. and she went over and put her arm around him to console him and comfort him. >> she says, "no, i know the guy by now and i am really convinced that he is not guilty of this." >> raven was able to calm her fears. raven was able to convince her that he loved his wife, that he loved his son, that he was fighting for justice, that he wanted answers just as badly as janet's family did. and vanessa was willing to
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accept this. >> soon after that, raven asked my dad for my hand in marriage. >> raven may be ready to move on in utah, but back in north carolina, janet's friends and family can't let it go. when they hear about his new love interest, they pick up the phone and give vanessa a call. >> we were fearful for her. as we are fearful for any woman that he becomes involved with. >> and they said, "well, vanessa, if we can tell you one thing, it's get out now." >> get out. >> i was heartbroken. i did not want to believe, at all, that he had done this. >> and she still married him. >> yes. >> what does that tell you? >> that he is a really good salesman. >> the wedding and the reception took place in september in our
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yard. i asked raven, "just take good care of my little girl." he promised me he would. >> they're on their way to starting this new life, and that's the veneer, that's the presentation, but what's actually happening behind the scenes is the polar opposite of that. >> it's in las vegas on their honeymoon where there's the first sign of trouble. >> and then he cuddled up closer to me, and he said, "i promise i'll never hurt you." >> that's a red flag.
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it's been three years now since that awful murder of janet abaroa but now, raven is happily married, it appears, to a new woman in utah. >> they go in their honeymoon in
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vegas, and vanessa recalls raven talking about janet. you're talking about your deceased wife on the evening of your honeymoon. >> he started talking about janet and how mad he was after she died. not how sad. not how heartbroken. just mad. and then he cuddled up closer to never hurt you." >> this is the first night you're spending with your new husband, and the biggest topic is the deceased wife. that's a red flag. >> yeah, it is an odd thing for a newly married husband to confess to his wife, "i would never hurt you."
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i mean, i'm sure vanessa's like, "oh, you would never hurt me? why would you say that? you know, i would just assume that you would never hurt me, you're my new husband." >> within moments he could switch. he could say the most horrible things and then moments later, he would apologize. "i'm sorry, i was just mad. that's just what i say when i'm mad. that's just what i do." >> according to vanessa, things start getting really bad. what started out as verbal abuse is now physical abuse. >> he grabbed me from the door and threw me up against the wall, and then i fell. later, he tried to convince me that i had tripped. >> vanessa is able to make the determination based on the deterioration of this new marriage, that something is
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amiss here, that she may not have married the person that she thought she married. >> the ink hasn't even dried on vanessa's marriage license and she realizes she's made a terrible mistake. >> the light just disappears from his eyes and he becomes another person and that part is terrifying. >> are you convinced you would have been his next victim? >> yeah. >> and just like that, after just four months, the marriage is over. vanessa no longer believes in raven's innocence. but police back in north carolina are still struggling, years after the murder, to find direct evidence of his guilt. and janet's family has just about had enough. >> at this point, we pretty much all knew he did it. i couldn't fathom why he hadn't been arrested. i was so mad, because nothing
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was happening. i was like, he's going to get away with this. >> the family had their suspicions all along. >> when i found out she had died, even when it was believed that she had committed suicide, because that's what raven told us, i knew he had something to do with it. >> i wanted to believe that it was somebody else. but it kept just going through my mind and the only person that pointed to was raven. >> my instantaneous, nanosecond reaction was, "oh, my god, raven has killed janet." >> raven was flat broke. he had lost his job for embezzling, they were getting assistance from the church. he would do anything to get more money, he desperately needed cash. >> not long before janet's murder, raven took out a half million dollar life insurance policy for his wife. and they never missed a payment. raven never missed a payment on those life insurance policies.
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>> here's a guy who's on church welfare, he's lost his job, but he's still paying his $154 a month life insurance. you know, me, if i can't put food on the table, maybe i shouldn't be paying for life insurance. >> janet's sisters then start cataloguing all the lies that raven has been telling them and they realize he's been lying to him ever since he said "i do." even lying about whether he did missionary work, he claimed he did, in peru. >> he never went to the mission training center, he never had a passport, he never went to peru. so if you're gonna enter into a relationship with a young mormon woman, and you're gonna lie to her parents about what happened on your mission, that you didn't even go. his whole existence with that family, and with janet, was based on a monumental lie. >> from the very beginning? >> from the very beginning. >> liar, cheater, deadbeat, but a murderer? well, the durham police are not yet willing to take that step. at least, not yet. the police have a huge handicap.
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no direct evidence tying raven to the murder. the direct evidence they do have that mysterious bloody footprint, the inconclusive fingerprint. it suggests there may have been a stranger in the house. >> with cases like this, we are constantly looking for enough information, where we feel we can present this to a jury, and we can win beyond a reasonable doubt. that's our -- the burden of proof. >> this is a circumstantial case. it's hard. it's not easy. well, you know what? sometimes justice isn't easy. >> it's been four years. i don't -- and nothing. >> the family is very frustrated. the sisters decide to turn up the heat on this very cold case, so they sit down with me on abc's "primetime crime" in an effort to get some more attention. >> cases that seem impossible to
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crack. crimes that seem impossible to solve. that's why there's "primetime crime." >> he's out free. out there -- >> yes, he is. >> -- doing what he wants. >> yes, he is. >> does that anger you? >> very much so. >> yes. and fearful for -- for other women or other people that come in contact with him. >> but he needs to be stopped from hurting anybody else, like vanessa. i mean, we're -- we're concerned about other people getting hurt. >> and if we could prevent that, then we feel like we're -- at least we're accomplishing something. and that janet's death wasn't just for nothing. >> we wanted to get raven's side of the story, so we go to his mother's house outside of salt lake city and knock on the door. i talked to them, but they turned me away, saying they would not comment on this case and neither would raven. >> i was very happy that my sisters we tabc, and wen public about him.
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i was hoping that this would put pressure on the police, put pressure on the d.a. now, this made public, people are gonna start getting outraged. i think when tv gets involved and tells the story and what's going on, it helps move justice along. >> after our program airs, my interview with those sisters, something remarkable happens. >> the very next day we get a call from the durham police department saying, "we've assigned a new detective to the case." >> a new detective takes over the case and he's about to change the course of this entire investigation. >> i feel myself getting frustrated. i'm not 100% sure why. to captivation. to enchantment. to distinction. we invite you to more than an exceptionally crafted vehicle. we invite you to an exceptionally crafted experience.
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inside the durham police department, this case is going from one detective to another detective. to another detective. >> eventually it's assigned to an investigator who starts to see things that others didn't see before. >> i came with a fresh set of eyes and then i kind of ran with it. >> charles sole was one of the first police officers on the scene on the night janet got
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murdered. he showed up with a k-9 unit. well, now, four years later, as a detective, he takes >> raven was a talker, which for a detective, that's a home run. if your suspect's talking regardless of what he's talking about, that was good. >> raven seemed comfortable talking, he'd already done an interview with "nc wanted" that was later published online. >> i'd always go in and give kaiden a kiss, and that's, you know, that's when i found out that something was wrong. janet died that night. i wasn't there. >> raven, basically within two weeks, packs up and moves across the country. he had left to go on to utah. my training was, hey, let me call this guy and see if he wants to talk to this north carolina detective. i kind of studied raven. i mean, he's certainly a narcissist, and i played the dumb southern cop, and he ate it up. >> what's sort of odd is that
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raven records his conversations with detective sole, and this sort of pre-dates the social media selfie video time that we live. but he's literally shooting a video of himself, and then offering courtside commentary. >> all right, we'll see you later. i don't feel too good about that. i feel myself getting frustrated. i'm not 100% sure why. you know, the more stuff i give them, the more stuff that gets leaked. >> he was unnerved by these conversations. he knew this detective was drilling into things that hadn't be scrutinized that closely before. >> i need to win the lottery. you know, and if i were to win $3 million, i would dedicate $2 million to fighting this. two-thirds of my winnings, if
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you would, so, to make janet's name more recognized in southern virginia. >> i thought it was very bizarre that he talks about, "i need to win the lottery." oh, by the way, i would do something for janet as well. so, come on. >> narcissistic, antisocial, egotistical personalities do things like this, because they think they're clever. unfortunately for them, is that they're also sort of giving the police additional pieces of information about you, and how you think. >> very quickly, detective sole realized that raven was telling different stories at different moments in time. he wasn't keeping his story straight. >> the lights were on, the lights were off. the child was crying, the child wasn't crying. >> the night that your wife dies is something that you would probably have emblazoned in your mind, and you would remember it in rather vivid detail. >> you don't get those things wrong if you're telling the truth. >> do you feel like doing cpr would help?
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>> she's not with me. >> she's not? >> i need my bishop. >> you need your what? >> my bishop of my church. >> not once does raven ever ask for help for his wife. and when people call 911, that's what they do. >> tell me exactly what you came in to. >> i came in to my house. i came upstairs. the lights were off, the door was cracked open. i thought my wife had left it open. >> as the detective looks at the crime scene to assess the possibility of an intruder, he wants to see if there was a struggle. because if she didn't know the person who came in, there likely would have been a fight. >> they expected to see items smashed. doors off hinges. >> nothing was disturbed in that room. as a matter of fact, the blood was contained in a very small space. and you gotta remember, just on the other wall is her child.
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so, it would've been normal for that room to be destroyed in the struggle. >> the detectives see very little that would lead them to believe this was a home invasion or a burglary. >> so, then, the question would be, who could have done that? >> to have someone break into your house, pass a wedding set, you know, her diamond ring. her engagement band. the electronics, which are common stolen in a break-in. and go upstairs to steal a knife and a computer, it was very odd. >> remember, raven had told police there was a missing knife from his collection, and when he was asked about it, he was touchy on the subject. >> when i brought up the whole throwing knife thing, it always was like a dentist poking at a tooth that's bad. he became frustrated with me, like, why do you care about this? well, it's kind of important. your wife was stabbed to death. >> raven then makes another video where he actually has a two-edged knife that he holds and twists. >> now all of a sudden raven has
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knife that he says was overlooked by investigators at the crime scene. >> this is a knife that has been in my possession since i got my stuff back from my brother and my dad moved out of my house for me after janet passed away. >> his message to the police in that video, holding that knife, is this was in the house where my wife was murdered. how did you not find this in the crime scene? >> one ploy that i think raven's trying to put out there is that the police are incompetent. that the knife in question was there. it wasn't there, and they didn't find it, but i think raven's trying to, obviously, discredit whatever investigation they're working on that involves him. >> you gotta remember, we're talking about less than a 10 by 10 room. so, for a knife that's that big and you're there cleaning up a room where there was a murder, a stabbing, you're gonna overlook a knife? >> it's a throwing knife. i'm gonna be mailing this to the detectives. >> it just kind of was bizarre
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that, you know, he would all of the sudden mail a knife. >> was he taunting police officers? could this be the murder weapon? there's something else that intrigues detective sole. in crime scene photos -- >> the first thing i'm looking at is, well, her contact lens case is, is open. i said to myself, if she's ready to go bed, you know, and she still has her contacts in. you know, that's unusual. >> that gives him a hunch that maybe raven abaroa's story about janet going to bed before he left for that soccer game may not be the case. >> the only way for detectives to find out if janet was wearing her contact lenses when she was killed is to exhume her body. >> it definitely seemed like detective sole was digging deep, literally and figuratively speaking. >> detective sole comes face to face with the victim. looking for a piece of evidence that can only be uncovered by looking directly into janet's
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'. at first he comes off very charming. prince charming. within moments, he could switch. >> he told me how much he hated me. and how much he didn't care if i died. >> are you convinced you would have been his next victim? >> yeah. >> did he mention his last wife? >> he got away with murdering my sister. >> they need to physically check her eyes. >> and now finally he's on for her murder. then the proceedings come to a screeching halt.
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>> lawyers discover e-mails between janet's ex-boyfriend and janet. >> less than 60 days later, she was murdered. >> we get this bombshell announcement. >> screw the justice system, screw the defense. i know this happened. >> he's going to walk free. in my mind, that makes every woman out there a target. >> don't walk. run. it's been five years since janet abaroa was found dead in a pool of blood in their home by her husband. >> the investigation is painstakingly slow. >> janet abaroa was found inside her ferrand drive home with what 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. >> days went by, months went by, eventually years went by. >> it was frustrating and
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upsetting. and it was also sad for us, because we wanted justice for my sister. >> for janet's family, there was only one suspect and that suspect was raven abaroa. >> the common sense stuff in the case, it just didn't add up. >> and one of the more intriguing pieces of evidence is that half a million dollar insurance policy that raven bought on janet just months before her murder. >> certainly the insurance policy is a quick one to jump right to. when i got the case, i dug back on one of the first police incidents that a vehicle that he's financing just spontaneously combusts. and an insurance claim is made. >> it just burned up. no longer existed. and i just thought, wow, that's 's important forishica the financial situation with raven.
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>> and then there's that picture of the contact lens case that belonged to janet. >> at this point they have possible motive, they have leads, they have strong suspicions, but they want physical evidence. the contact lenses, if they can find them, could be just that. >> 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. >> it's an important piece of information to punch holes in raven's story. raven's story is that she was going to bed as he was leaving. >> the fact that her contacts were not out, i knew right away that she was not in bed. i knew that he was lying. >> the only way to support it would be to physically check her eyes.
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'cause, you know, the m.e.'s report didn't denote contact lens being present when they did her autopsy here in north carolina. >> contact lenses on a dead body are often overlooked during an autopsy because medical examiners won't necessarily look for them, unless they're given reason to do so. >> detective sole needs to determine, were her contact lenses in her eyes at the time of the murder. there's only one way to find out. >> i received a strange phone call from detective charles sole. he said, "if someone exhumed a body that had a contact lens in it, would it still be there?" and i said soft contact lenses will degenerate over time. >> the exhumation was something that we didn't want to have to do unless we felt like it was gonna be necessary. and the family was supportive of it. >> it's hard because she was being dug up and then, okay, she was already murdered. now she can't even rest after she's dead. >> it's a little emotional, but at the same time i was thinking,
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if this is what it takes, we have to do this. >> it was a big deal when her body would be exhumed. it was the lead story that night on our newscast. >> at the cemetery, workers began the process using a backhoe to remove janet abaroa's vault and casket. >> when they exhume janet's body, the medical examiner's office finds little bits of fragments. could those be janet's contact lenses? they send them out for analysis. >> after i received these fragments and i then cleaned them, the material actually resumed a convex shape typical of your contact lens. but the key was finding the numbers 123. this was conclusive evidence that this was an acuvue contact lens. >> but this type of evaluation had never been done before. so, to prove the scientific validity of his work, this ophthalmologist had to conduct an experiment. >> so i then did a burial simulation study using pig eyes
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with regular contacts. i had to show what happens to a contact lens over a period of time if it is buried with the body. i applied the contact lens. i applied a lens cap, which is done at a funeral home. and i got these little caskets. and buried them actually in my backyard. the final analysis showed that the contact lenses did change just like the one we discovered. >> that's the physical evidence that kind of shoots down raven's story about janet getting ready for bed and him going off to a soccer game. >> and detective sole believes that these inconsistencies are evidence of someone who may not have told the truth from the start. >> now that the body's been exhumed, they're also looking for more. >> for some reason i'll never understand, he mailed us a knife, and we did some tool marking based on the bones that were cut, to match them up with the knife that had been sent to
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us. >> they were able to say that the wounds were consistent with the knife that was found. if the knife is clean, you're never gonna be able to say it was the murder weapon. >> after a while, detective sole is building a profile. >> they have his financial history. they have his odd behavior. they have his infidelity. and what he sees is a person who appeared to be this loving, attractive, doting father, who may in fact may be someone who's a murderer. >> this was a tough case to build, but finally they felt like they had enough to tip the scales, to charge raven and bring him in. >> 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. >> raven is arrested, and then extradited to north carolina where he will be put on trial for the first-degree murder of his wife. and by the way, he's about to come face to face with a trail of mistresses. >> i just wanted to be done with
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raven abaroa, he's living in idaho at the time. he's arrested and then extradited back to north carolina to face the murder charge. >> the fact that it took so long for him to be indicted and arrested, it was frustrating and upsetting. >> the arrest of raven abaroa puts janet's death back into the spotlight. front page news again. >> tonight, jury selection is under way in the raven abaroa murder trial. >> 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. >> eight years have passed since janet abaroa's death, and now
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finally her husband raven is on trial for her murder. for janet's sisters, it's been a long journey. remember, they helped reignite the investigation when they spoke out publically to us. >> the court was packed every day. raven's family was there, janet's sisters, lots of reporters. lots of spectators, members of the public, online sleuths. >> her sister erica gets chills when she sees raven for the first time in years. >> the whole trial, every time that he was brought in, he never looked in our direction. he never looked at me. he never looked at my sister. and he just had his head down the whole time. i mean, an innocent man would want to reach out to the family and say, "i didn't do this." >> raven went from just this baby-faced kid to -- he looked a little grizzled, a little hardened. and just very emotionless.
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>> adrienne nelson provides really pivotal testimony in this trial. she is one of janet's very best friends. janet seemed to talk to her about what was happening in her marriage. >> 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 want 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. >> she spoke with janet the day of the murder, and broke down in tears on the witness stand talking about losing her friend to this violent murder. >> i spoke to her the day of her murder. i felt like something was wrong. >> and what did you do?
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>> 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. >> the prosecution uses a classic technique. when you don't have enough forensic evidence, you attack the character of the defendant. one of the best ways to do that is to parade all the ex-lovers, his mistresses. >> did he flirt with you? >> yes. >> did you flirt back with him? >> yes. >> how soon after he moved into that apartment did you and the defendant become physical? >> pretty soon. >> annabel haviza was a student, and she and raven met at a college party while raven was married to janet. >> what if your wife finds out? you know, what if she looks at your cell phone records or anything like that? he said, "i've got a different sim card that i use and i switch out the sim card so she won't
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ever know that i text messaged you or called you." >> she's actually a teenager, a 17-year-old. and talks about how frightened she was when she was on a date with raven. >> annabel testified that one night in his car, raven pressured her aggressively to have sex with him. and she panicked. >> 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. >> raven seems oddly disengaged. he seems unplugged, disinterested in what's happening moment to moment in this trial. >> the whole thing just makes me
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feel small and little. i just wanted to be done with it. >> typically, you say that the most powerful evidence can be physical evidence, but in a case like this, being able to have woman after woman testify about how scary he was, it's arguably even more powerful. >> the stories in the trial were horrific. 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 next 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, if you put it together and back away, it tells a story and tells a pattern. >> what was it like being in the courtroom and seeing raven?
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>> that was very hard. more than anything, it was very hard to see his face. >> 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? >> the star witness in this case was raven's second wife from utah, vanessa pond, and she testified how horrible the abuse was, psychological and physical. >> he told me how much he hated me and how much he didn't care if i died. and he expressed how much he
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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. >> 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. >> but you had once loved this man. >> i had once believed he was the love of my life.
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and that confliction was very, very strange to feel. >> vanessa pond became one of the most important witnesses. >> but there was an additional layer of heartbreak to this tragedy. not only was janet a young mother with a 6-month-old baby boy, she was pregnant, too. >> she cried and said it wasn't going to be good, that raven wasn't going to be happy that wasn't going to be happy that she was pregnant.erk it" by mam] ♪ watch me werk it now ♪ woo ♪ baby do you like the way i werk it now? ♪ aby come on and let me show you how ♪ ♪ werk it now ♪ werk it now ♪ werk it now ♪ baby watch me werk it like ♪ werk it now, werk it now, woo ♪ ♪ werk it now ♪ baby watch me werk it like ♪ baby, baby, baby ♪ baby watch me werk it now
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in the weeks before her murder, janet was keeping a secret. >> months after her murder, we finally get her autopsy report,
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and it hits our newsroom and we realize not only was janet a young mother with a 6-month-old baby boy, she was pregnant, too. which was just another heartbreaking layer to this tragedy. >> i did not know that she was pregnant. she did not tell us. i believe that that put a lot of extra stress on him. >> it wasn't just the issue of killing his wife, janet. it was the unborn child that he slaughtered who never had a chance. why? >> very few people knew about that, but among those who did, her friend cathy cheek. >> 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 because he didn't want a child at that time. >> when you look at a murder, and believe that it's a domestic murder, you then go to motive. in this case, a couple things
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jump out. one is that raven had taken out a fairly large insurance policy on janet and that she was also pregnant, which means that then he was gonna have to deal with a child. >> he is used to living high on the hog, he is used to stealing, getting his money. 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 gonna be greener on the other side of the fence. and i think what raven saw is, is the ability to collect this money. >> next, the state presents evidence that raven carefully planned his alibi and the home burglary story. and janet's sister, sonia, says she found his behavior odd. >> i felt like he wasn't fully cooperating with the detectives so i went through his belongings. >> and what if anything did you find? >> janet's sister, sonya, says
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she found some computer disks. she found that odd, because, remember, on the night janet was murdered, raven says his computer was stolen. >> i looked at the disks on the computer. all the files had modified date of 4/25/05, which was the day before her murder 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. >> 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 was going to happen the next day, he couldn't lose his computer stuff. so he backed up his computer stuff.
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>> raven says that on the day of the murder, he took off from work. he spent the day at home, watching his son, and running errands. but before he went out to play soccer, prosecutors say he did something he had never done before. he locks the family's guard dogs in a back shed. >> normally the dogs sleep in crates under a counter in the kitchen inside their home. >> do you know whether the dogs 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. >> detective sole believed that the dogs were removed from the house because raven didn't want them to be around this, this violent murder, that the dogs would have reacted and tried to protect janet. >> why was this night so much different from the others? because he was going to murder her. >> prosecution also attacks raven's alibi for being almost too perfect. >> raven tells the police a
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story that he leaves the house, he gam interacts with people. they find witnesses to support that he was at these locations, sort of during the timeframe that he claims that he was there. >> raven indicated that he got to the game location with just enough time to warm up before the game started. he indicated the game lasted one hour. after the game he left the sports arena and only made one stop before arriving home and the purpose of the stop was to buy gatorade. >> what he's obviously trying to do is create a situation where he physically was not at home, so he could not have harmed his wife. so he's sort of building his own defense as he presents this story. >> but he tells me in a phone conversation, "well, you knew where i was at, you know, stn aying to myself, "well, where would you have known that?" again, i go back to the staging. he's smart enough to know he has
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got to document where he is at. >> it seems to prove raven's story, but detectives say it proves something else, that raven was planting his alibi. >> despite all that planning, raven still makes a big mistake when asked about the moment that he finds janet's body. >> 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 that janet's eyes were open and her lips were blue. >> raven told a church member something very different from what he told police that further highlights inconsistencies from the night of the murder. >> he said he came home and went upstairs and found janet on the floor and he immediately grabbed her. and i believe he said to me that she had asked him, "why do i hurt so bad?"
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and his response was, "i don't know." >> the jury, when they heard that, they were shocked. 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. >> these inconsistencies in raven's story help bolster the prosecution's case because the sense is that he's there that night, and these are details that he should remember. >> at this point the prosecution feels they've done their job, they've proven their case. but what about that bloody footprint and fingerprint that don't match raven? that's when the defense team throws prosecution a curve ball, calling a new witness, janet's ex-boyfriend. >> did anyone ask you to submit a dna sample or fingerprints?
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>> could he be the intruder? that there's a lobster i in our hot tub?t. lobster: oh, you guys. there's a jet! oh...i needed this. no, i can't believe how easy it was to save hundreds of dollars on our car insurance with geico. we could have been doing this a long time ago. so, you guys staying at the hotel? yeah, we just got married.
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the prosecution is about to rest in the case of north carolina versus raven abaroa, but then suddenly, the proceedings come to a screeching halt. someone in the d.a.'s office discovers a long forgotten hard drive from janet's computer. >> this surprise hard drive was definitely a pivotal moment in the trial because it spoke to the thoroughness of the investigators, it spoke to whether this was something the prosecution had withheld. >> 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. >> they're trying to dissect
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what kind of internet searches were being done before the murder, what kind of e-mail contact there was. lawyers discover e-mail back and forth between scott hall, janet's ex-boyfriend, and janet. >> ms. 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 of them are sexual in nature. >> janet dated him for a very long time. and she was always, i guess you would say flirtatious with scott. you know, she still communicated with him. but when raven moved in, she officially ended it with scott to start dating raven. >> the defense immediately went to the judge and asked for a mistrial. >> withholding those e-mails has allowed the state, through its witnesses, to present a very dishonest portrait of
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ms. abaroa, a dishonest portrait of my client and a dishonest portrait of their relationship. let's create a portrait of this dominating, controlling, awful person. and by doing so, that helps us convince the jury, well no one else could have done it, it had to be him. >> but the judge isn't buying it. >> the motion for mistrial in the court's discretion is denied. >> the judge says that this was just sloppy recordkeeping by the prosecution. >> the defense tried to paint it to be as if she were in some type of relationship with an ex-boyfriend. and, could this guy have done this, because that relationship wasn't moving forward. that was, i think, their presentation of a possible suspect. >> and 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.
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this is the woman you dated for three years in high school, is that right? >> that's correct. >> and these text messages are march 3rd of 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. >> he did say that he was at home in virginia and there's no way that he was anywhere close to durham, north carolina, on the night of the murder. >> where were you on april 6th, 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. >> the defense, through this whole trial, they're trying to create reasonable doubt. raven may not be a model husband, a model father. he's got some problems, but he's not a killer. >> there was this footprint on
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the property and the defense attorneys just drive home that it was never matched to any of raven's shoes. >> we do know that all of raven's shoes were tested, including the ones he was wearing that night and there was no blood on the bottom of those shoes. there was no blood on the bottom of any of his shoes. >> but the state shows the jury one photo in particular that may show why a match for the footprint was never found. >> the defense told you they tested all the defendant's shoes. but none of these were tested. none of them. and what do you see right there, 409. so he had time to plan, he had time to act, he had time to clean up. >> the defense argues that the state always had it in for raven abaroa, and they keep holding up that missing hard drive from janet's computer, pointing to it 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
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the state deals with information. >> the defense went on picking apart the state's case piece by piece, trying to blow up that beautifully crafted 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. everything is suspect when you are presumed guilty. >> the prosecutor had this dramatic moment in closing arguments where she's trying to mimic what janet went through after she was stabbed. >> he calls her. come upstairs, janet. he's waiting for her with the knife -- 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.
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he stabs through her finger. it ends up making a little mark. she falls face down. that's what this defendant did. >> the prosecution lists all the motives that raven had for wanting to kill his wife. an unhappy marriage with an unwanted baby on the way. that deep financial hole. did that half a million dollar insurance policy provide a way out? and they drag out that bizarre video by raven. >> 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. 'cause this fight, you need money, you need power. >> after a five-week trial, everyone's ready for closure. >> so, the jury will be responsible for the verdict. guilty of first degree murder or not guilty. >> raven abaroa was a horrible
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husband. there is no doubt about that. >> verdict watch happening now in the raven abaroa murder trial. >> but defense attorneys will tell you, an adulterer does not a murderer make. have you ever worked with dr. francis? oh yeah, he's ok. umm... just ok? guess who just got reinstated! well, not officially. nervous? yeah. yeah me too. don't worry about it, we'll figure it out. i'll see ya in there! just ok is not ok. especially when it comes to your network. at&t is america's best wireless network, according to america's biggest test. now with 5g evolution. the first step to 5g. more for your thing. that's our thing.
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it's been 34 days, a lot of emotional testimony, and now the jurors are going to have to decide. is that proof beyond a reasonable doubt that raven abaroa killed his wife? >> we were all pretty unanimous in that the defendant had done some fairly reprehensible things.r that was to the level of committing murder. >> this was a long trial. janet's family was there watching every moment of it, hoping, praying for a guilty verdict.
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they believed raven was guilty of murdering janet, and they wanted him locked up for life. >> it takes the jury three days, but they finally walk into the courtroom to deliver a shocking decision. >> we consider ourselves to be at an impasse and that no additional time for deliberation will be of any benefit. we are a hung jury. >> the jury was divided, divided 11-1, one person was a holdout, one person voting not guilty. and that was raven abaroa's ticket to freedom. >> we can't make you reach a verdict.wi. >> you could see janet's family is just crestfallen. they're heartbroken. their pain is palpable, quite frankly, in the courtroom because they really thought this
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was the case that was going to seal raven abaroa's fate. >> that was our chance. we did our best and we failed. by one person. we couldn't convince them enough. we couldn't make them see the truth. >> when they played the 911 tape, it felt very real to him. >> my wife, she's dead! she's been shot or something. there's blood everywhere. >> she's been shot? >> yes. >> we felt like it was maybe a little bit of remorse over committing the crime whereas he felt like, you know, he generally was shocked by finding his wife dead. >> is your wife conscious? >> no. she's, like, blue. >> she's blue? >> her eyes are open. >> hang with me now. just calm down, okay? >> he decided that it was better to let a guilty man go free than it would be to send an innocent man to prison. >> prosecutors very quickly decide that it was just one holdout on that jury.
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they're going to try him once again and try to get a guilty verdict. >> so, when you hear we're gonna have to retry the case, what goes through your mind? >> you pretty much collapse. >> dread. definitely dread. it's gonna be another long six weeks. >> you didn't want to go through another trial. >> no. >> no. >> we wanted it over. over and done. >> all rise. >> everybody is ready to sit through this trial once again, and we get this bombshell announcement from the district attorney's office. >> do you plea guilty this morning pursuant to a plea bargain? >> yes. >> a coward's plea. >> one of durham's most high profile murder cases coming to an end tonight. >> raven has agreed to enter what's called an alford plea. and it becomes essentially a guilty verdict on a manslaughter charge with a maximum of ten years in prison. >> an alford plea is an odd wrinkle in the law 'cause you're basically saying i'm going to take responsibility for this but i'm not admitting guilt.
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i'll take the sentence, but i'm not saying i did it. >> janet's family told me they accepted that deal for a lesser charge reluctantly because they didn't want to risk raven getting acquitted after another lengthy 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. >> the defendant will receive an active sentence of 95 to 123 months. >> raven's sentence, 8 to 10 years. the maximum allowed under the deal. and with time served, raven could be out in less than four years. >> taking this deal and getting 8 to 10 years instead of the possibility of life in prison is a big win for raven abaroa. >> raven abaroa is going to be released from jail.
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he's going to walk free. in my mind, that makes every woman out there a target. >> raven was quiet throughout the trial. he never said a word. but during this last part of the sentencing, he stands up and he explains why he's accepted this alford plea. >> 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 the 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 did not kill my wife. >> that was like he was stabbing us, right in the heart. >> we have had an open wound. it hasn't been healing at all. and him, doing that, just put salt in it.
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>> 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 just didn't leave her alone, just let her go. >> i've asked this question so many times, i've quit asking it. what happened to divorce? why not just get a divorce? >> when he gets out, i hope he goes back to utah and tries the best to raise his son, and put this behind him. and correct the error of his ways. but i'm not -- i don't know. his record tells us different, doesn't it. >> and raven's ex-wife, vanessa pond, well, she has a warning for any woman involved with raven. your advice to women who come in contact with him?
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on christmas day of 2017, raven abaroa walked out of prison in north carolina a free man. >> you don't kill someone you
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love and just go to prison for a few years. i didn't think that would happen. i thought you go to jail the rest of your life. i guess that was naive of me. >> raven abaroa was one juror away from serving life in prison. he should feel very lucky that he's a free man. >> was there justice here? >> it's not justice. but it is an end and we can move on. >> guilty, despite what he said in that courtroom? >> definitely. without a doubt. >> he pled guilty. he is guilty. it is on the record that he killed janet. >> according to these photos posted by his mother on her facebook page, raven is now sporting a beard and living happily, it appears, alongside
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his now teenage son. >> i feel for him so much, because everything will be out there as he grows. he'll learn all these things about his father. he'll learn these things about his mother. a mother that he never knew. and i really hope that he turns out okay. >> since raven's release, we hear he's working, and has even started dating. >> human beings tend to repeat their behavior time and time again. for people like me, it would be a concern that he could easily repeat past behavior. >> do your homework. talk to somebody. google raven abaroa. there's a lot of truth there. you know? i mean, he is a charming, engaging individual, who's smart. but what you see is not what you're gonna get. what janet bought is not what she took home.
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and unfortunately it cost her her life. >> we reached out to raven abaroa for comment, but he declined our request. your advice to women who come in contact with him? >> please, 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 don't want to see that again. a bay area woman does a dna test to find her family.
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>> she found a sister and 28 other siblings. the story behind her incredible


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