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James Craig, dentist who poisoned wife to enter guilty plea

A Colorado dentist who allegedly spiked his wife’s protein shakes to kill her and searched online for ways to “make murder look like a heart attack” was scheduled to plead guilty to first-degree murder on Tuesday.

James Craig, 45, had long sought to off his wife of 23 years and mother of his six children, Angela Craig, people close to her said after she died on March 18 at age 43. She had been to the hospital several times throughout the month, and he had drugged her five years earlier as well, her sister, Toni Kofoed, told police.

Angela Craig died of poisoning from cyanide and tetrahydrozoline, Arapahoe County coroner Kelly Lear ruled at the time. Her widower was arrested the day after for what Aurora, Colo. police termed a “heinous, complex and calculated” killing. Tetrahydrozoline is found in over-the-counter eyedrops.

While James Craig’s defense attorneys maintained in a hearing that there was no direct evidence proving he had laced his wife’s protein shakes with poison, his online purchase orders for the substances that killed her were irrefutable. He routinely made her protein shakes as well, investigators established.

His defense attorneys said Craig’s online searches were his attempts to find ways to commit suicide, something he had tried to do in the past. In the end, though, he was not the one with the symptoms.

Doctors did indeed find a cause of death elusive at first. But then Craig’s dental practice partner, Ryan Redfearn, told police that their shared office had received a rush delivery of potassium cyanide, with Craig claiming that he needed it for an upcoming surgery. Redfearn said it was not in fact necessary for their work. Craig also ordered the toxic plant extract oleandrin, but police intercepted that one.

While he was researching ways to make poison undetectable, she was googling her symptoms: vertigo, shaking, cold lips and intense headaches, for starters.

Craig also faces charges of tampering with evidence, though details about that allegation have not been made public.

The woman who he was allegedly having an affair with told police she had not known he was married and would not have dated him if she had.

With News Wire Services

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