Jurors Deliver a Shocking Decision

Act 5: Janet Abaroa's family and Vanessa Pond find little comfort in Raven Abaroa's fate.
3:00 | 03/21/14

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Transcript for Jurors Deliver a Shocking Decision
Once again, "20/20's" John Quinones and more of "Sleeping with the enemy." Reporter: Trial day 34. The state of North Carolina versus raven abaroa. After three days of deliberation, his fate to -- is finally being decided. Janet's sister praying for justice. But the 12 jurors in courtroom 7b, deliver a shocking decision. I don't think that additional time is going to change our final outcome. Reporter: The verdict -- there is none. The jury deadlocked 11 to 1 in favor of guilty. We are a hung jury. Reporter: The judge has no choice but to declare a mistrial. We can't make you reach a verdict. Reporter: The outcome, devastating. Raven on the verge of tears. Upset at the prospect of another lengthy trial. And behind him, his mother crying. And the other side, overcome with emotion, too. Janet's mother and sisters sobbing. This jury member explained to us how a single holdout could not be swayed to find raven abaroa guilty of first degree murder. He decided that it was better to let a guilty man go free than it would be to send an innocent man to prison. Reporter: Janet's family, certain of raven's guilt, is crushed. So, when you hear we're going to have to retry the case, what goes through your mind? You pretty much collapse. Dread. Definitely dread. It's going to be another long six weeks. Reporter: You didn't want to go through another trial? No. No. We wanted it over. Over and done. Reporter: A new trial was set to begin this week. But, just days before it was to start, a stunning reversal. Do you plead guilty this morning pursuant to a plea bargain? Yes. A coward's plea. Coming to an end tonight. Some closure for her family and friends. Reporter: It's an about-face as dramatic as his appearance, he was once a soccer stud, but now, not quite the ladies' man. Raven abaroa, who always maintained his innocence, took a deal -- not for murder, but a lesser charge. It's called the Alford plea. A defendant neither admits nor denies, but accepts punishment on the crime. Reporter: Janet's family reluctantly accepted the deal because they did not want the risk of a not guilty verdict after another long trial. I believe that they did not want under any circumstance for raven to get away or escape justice. Is it justice? It's a rough shot at justice. Reporter: One by one Janet's family and friends speak out in court. This is her father. Janet missed Kaiden's first steps, missed out on Kaiden's first words, she missed out on being called mommy. Reporter: Hoping to sway the judge, to deliver the maximum sentence. Any time that you serve will never be enough for the pain that you have inflicted on my family and all that who loved her. The defendant will receive an active sentence of 95 months to 123 months. Reporter: Just eight to ten years, the harshest punishment allowed under what Janet's family considered a very sweet deal for him. With time already served, raven could be out in less than four years. Raven abaroa is going to be released from jail before his 41st birthday. He's going to walk free. In my mind, that makes every woman out there a target. Reporter: Raven abaroa did not testify at his trial, but now finally breaks his silence to explain why he agreed to the plea deal. 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 a 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. Reporter: A slap on the wrist for him. But a slap in the face for them -- Janet's five sisters. That was like he was stabbing us, right in the heart. We have had an open wound. It hasn't been healing. Reporter: Raven's second wife, Vanessa, also finds little comfort in the deal. Were you surprised that he accepted the plea? I was shocked. But I was -- more than that, I was shocked at what the plea deal turned out to be. Reporter: He could be out in four to six years? That's not justice at all. It's not justice. Reporter: Vanessa feels there's no justice, because she can't shake the notion that like a bird at midnight, raven will one day come -- tapping, tapping at another victim's chamber door. Your advice to women who come in contact with him? 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. So, what do you think of that sentence? Outrage or a rough shot at justice? As you heard Nancy grace just say. ]

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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