CENTENNIAL, Colo. — Shortly after beginning an affair, a Colorado dentist accused of killing his wife searched online for answers to questions like «can arsenic be detected in an autopsy?» and «how to make the murder look like a heart attack,» police said.
Days later, James Craig’s wife, Angela Craig, turned to Google to try to find out why she was experiencing symptoms like vertigo, tremors and cold lips, and sought out doctors who could help her, District Attorney John Kellner said in court Wednesday. . hearing on the evidence of the case.
“This is a person who is tragically slowly being poisoned by her husband,” she said.
While Craig’s lawyers argued there was no direct evidence that he put poison in his wife’s protein shakes, as police allege, and accused the lead detective of being biased against him, Judge Shay Whitaker ruled at the end of hearing that there was sufficient evidence for the case to proceed to trial.
He noted that Craig allegedly bought poisons online just before Angela Craig experienced her mysterious symptoms.
Toxicology tests showed Angela Craig died because she had been poisoned with cyanide and tetrahydrozoline, a substance found in over-the-counter eye drops, Arapahoe County Coroner Kelly Lear testified during the hearing.
Craig, dressed in an orange jail uniform, sat at the table with his three attorneys, listening to testimony in a courtroom full of Angela Craig’s family members, as well as her parents, who declined to speak.
Angela Craig died on March 18 after being taken off life support during her third trip to the hospital. She was married to her husband for 23 years and was 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 alleged that her husband was meeting with another woman, fellow dentist Karin Cain, who flew in from Texas to visit him.
Police began investigating James Craig after his fellow dental practice and friend, Ryan Redfearn, told a nurse that Craig had ordered potassium cyanide even though they didn’t need it for his job, according to an arrest warrant. which presents evidence collected by researchers.
Cain, an orthodontist, told ABC’s «Good Morning America» that she had been in the process of divorcing her husband of nearly 30 years when she met James Craig at a dental conference in February. She said that they were together for three weeks. Cain said that she did not want to be in a relationship with someone who is married and that she does not like being called Craig’s «lover».
“I don’t like that label,” Cain said. «If I had known what was true, I would not have been with this person.»
When asked if he thought Craig killed his wife to be with her, Cain said that they had not been planning a future together.
«There’s no way I’m the reason,» he said.
Investigators believe James Craig put arsenic in one of the protein shakes he routinely made for his wife for her workouts on March 6 and then, after she survived, ordered an express shipment of potassium cyanide which he told the supplier. I needed for surgery. according to court documents.
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, Craig’s arrest affidavit says.
Neither the affidavit nor testimony during the hearing addressed how investigators believe Angela Craig was poisoned with tetrahydrozoline. The lead detective on the case, Bobbi Olson, testified that tests were still ongoing on an eyedropper sent to a lab for her analysis.
Under questioning by defense attorney Andrew Ho, Olson acknowledged that FBI tests of two bottles used for milkshakes did not reveal any signs of cyanide or arsenic. Ho also suggested that Craig, who said he had previously attempted suicide, had been searching online for ways to commit suicide.
Outside the courtroom, Angela Craig’s brother, Mark Pray, said he had never heard of anyone wanting to hide the method of suicide.
The delivery of a third substance Craig is accused of, Oleandrin, was intercepted by authorities after they began investigating it, the document says. Oleandrin is a poisonous substance found in the leaves of the oleander plant.
James Craig told Redfearn that he ordered potassium cyanide for his wife and told a social worker that she had been suicidal and depressed since he filed for divorce in December, though neither of their children said anything about attempts to suicide, according to the arrest affidavit. .
Redfearn also told investigators that James Craig was on the brink 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 she said he was planning to kill himself and didn’t want her to be able to save him.
Kofoed believes that James Craig referred to that incident in a series of text messages between Angela and James Craig about his symptoms after he first fell ill on March 6. According to the arrest affidavit, James Craig wrote: “Given our history, I know it must be shooting. Just for the record, I did not drug you. However, I am super worried.»