Sick juror delays Abaroa trial
Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson suspended the trial of Raven Abaroa for a day Wednesday after one of the jurors called in sick.
Abaroa, 33, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of his wife, Janet Marie Christiansen Abaroa, 25, on April 26, 2005.
The prosecutors and the defense attorneys in the case met with Hudson in the judge’s chambers before court started to discuss the situation. When they came out, Hudson announced there would be no court that day because a juror was sick.
“Shut it down,” he said.
Although there are two alternate jurors, and one of them could have been moved into the sick juror’s seat, the attorneys worried that because the trial is expected to last two or three more weeks, they might run out of alternate jurors before the trial concludes. If they ran out of alternate jurors before the end of the trial, it could cause a mistrial.
So far in the trial, police officers testified to what Abaroa told them when the arrived at the Abaroa house following his 911 call.
Abaroa told police that on the evening of April 26, he and his wife came home from work, met with a church teacher at their home, and then after eating and cleaning up the dishes, he left to go play soccer. When he returned, he found his wife, Janet, in an upstairs office at their home on Ferrand Drive.
He told the 911 dispatcher she had been shot because he saw a hole in her abdomen, but investigators discovered she had been stabbed to death. Her shirt, which was pulled up around her neck, hid another wound.
On Tuesday, a crime scene analyst spent most of the day on the stand, showing photographs she took of the crime scene. The photographs included some of Janet Abaroa’s body on the floor of the room.