Prosecutors: Dentist Who Killed Wife Laced Her Protein Shakes

Dentist James Craig is accused of using arsenic, cyanide to kill wife
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 12, 2023 11:00 AM CDT
Prosecutors: Dentist Googled Question About Arsenic
James Craig, in an undated booking photo.   (Aurora Police Department via AP, File)

Investigators say a Colorado dentist accused of killing his wife researched how to poison her and get away with it, searching online for answers to questions like "is arsenic detectable in autopsy?" On Wednesday, prosecutors are set to present their evidence against James Craig to a judge to show that he should stand trial for first-degree murder in the death of Angela Craig in March. Police believe James Craig, 45, laced her pre-workout protein shakes with arsenic and cyanide so he could be with a woman he was having an affair with, according to court documents. He has yet to be asked to enter a plea to the charge, reports the AP.

Angela Craig died after being taken off life support during her third trip to the hospital in March. She was married to her husband for 23 years and the mother of six children, according to her obituary. As she languished in the hospital, with doctors unable to figure out what was wrong with her, police in the Denver suburb of Aurora alleged her husband was meeting the woman he was having an affair with, a fellow dentist, who flew in for visits with him. Police began investigating James Craig after his dental practice partner and friend, Ryan Redfearn, told a nurse that James Craig had ordered potassium cyanide even though they didn't need it for their work, according to an arrest warrant laying out evidence gathered by investigators.

Investigators believe that on March 6, James Craig put arsenic in one of the protein shakes he routinely made for his wife for their workouts and then, after she survived, he ordered a rush shipment of potassium cyanide that he told the supplier was needed for a surgery. James Craig had asked an office manager not to open that package but another employee did, leading to its discovery and eventual disclosure to authorities, the document says. The delivery of a third substance he's accused of ordering, oleandrin, was intercepted by authorities after they began investigating him, the document says. Oleandrin is a poisonous substance found in the leaves of the oleander plant.

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Redfearn also told investigators that James Craig was on the verge of bankruptcy and had been having problems in his marriage, according to the document. Angela Craig's sister, Toni Kofoed, told police that James Craig had drugged his wife about five years ago with an unknown drug because he said he planned to kill himself and didn't want her to be able to save him. Kofoed believes that incident is what James Craig referenced in a series of texts between Angela and James Craig about her symptoms after she first fell ill on March 6. According to the arrest affidavit, James Craig wrote: "Given our history I know that must be triggering. Just for the record, I didn't drug you. I am super worried though." (More poisoning stories.)

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