Man Goes on Trial for Murder 8 Years After Wife's Death

Act 7: Raven Abaroa's second wife Vanessa Pond is a witness for the prosecution.
8:11 | 08/10/14

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Transcript for Man Goes on Trial for Murder 8 Years After Wife's Death
Announcer: "20/20" Saturday continues. Once more, John Quinones. Reporter: Raven abaroa is finally in chains and stripes and officially charged with the first-degree murder of his wife. Tonight jury selection is under way in the raven abaroa murder trial. Reporter: But Janet's family still can't rest easy. 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. Reporter: In April of 2013, eight years after Janet's murder, the trial is finally set to begin. Janet's family packs the courtroom. Erika gets chills when she sees raven for the first time in years. He never -- he never looked at me. He never looked at my sister. The whole time. I mean, an innocent man would want to reach out to the family and say, "I didn't do this." Reporter: At the defense table, raven is cool, calm and confident. Durham county prosecutor Charlene coggins-frank calls raven's old boss from sports endeavors hoping the jury will see another side of the defendant. After all, this wasn't his first time in court. Our accounting department had found four orders that raven had placed for himself and they hadn't received the payment for, and that was the first big red flag. Reporter: Wilson says he dug further and found several more unpaid orders for sporting equipment. And there were a lot going to 2606 Ferrand drive. We knew something was going on, something criminal was going on, at that time. Reporter: Next, the state calls one of Janet's closest friends, Adrienne Nelson. She describes how Janet lived in constant fear. 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 wan 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. Reporter: Chillingly, Adrienne describes her last conversation with Janet. I spoke to her the day of her murder. I felt like something was wrong. And what'd you do? 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. Reporter: The prosecution keeps swinging. To prove raven couldn't be trusted, they parade his ex-girlfriends before the jury to further dismantle his character. Did he flirt with you? Yes. Did you flirt back with him? Yes. Reporter: Jennifer walker says she dated raven while he was taking a timeout from his marriage and living on his own. How soon after he moved into that apartment did you and the defendant become physical? Pretty soon. Reporter: Anabel haviza was a minor, just 17 when she started seeing raven, but being the other woman made her nervous. What if your wife finds out? What if she looks at your cell phone records or anything like that? Reporter: But she says raven abaroa knew how to cover his tracks. He said, "I've got a different sim card that I use, and I switch out the sim card so she won't ever know that I text-messaged you or called you." Reporter: Then, Annabel panicked. In his car late one night, Anabel said he aggressively pressured her into sex. 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. Reporter: After that night she says she never saw raven again. The whole thing makes me feel small and little. I just wanted to be done with it. Reporter: Tim dowd, the neighbor, once so close to raven he considered him to be like a son, is in court almost every day. He's astonished by Anabel's story. 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 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, you put them together, and back away, it tells a story and tells a pattern. Reporter: Now, an unexpected witness would add to that mosaic. What was it like being in the courtroom and seeing raven? That was very hard. Reporter: 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? Reporter: Vanessa has not only had her marriage to raven annulled, today she is actually a star witness against him, testifying to his physical and psychological abuse. He told me how much he hated me and how much he didn't care if I died. And he expressed how much he 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. Reporter: 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. Reporter: But you had once loved this man? I had once believed he was the love of my life. And that confliction was very, very strange to feel. Reporter: It is emotional testimony, but the unbelievable surprise is still ahead, a bombshell that shocks the courtroom. 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. Statistics show that the number one cause of death of pregnant women is homicide. Something about the wife becoming pregnant escalates the tensions within the home. It can become just too much for certain people, and by that I mean certain men.

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

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