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Arrest report: Investigators gather evidence they say points to dentist James Craig planning to kill his wife

Colorado dentist accused of poisoning wife, charged with murder
Colorado dentist accused of poisoning wife, charged with murder 03:04

An Aurora dentist is accused of murder in the death of his wife, which police believe was likely the result of poisoning. 

Dr. James Craig was a dentist with a practice that had ups and downs, including bankruptcy and what family described as a habit of extramarital affairs. His wife, Angela Craig is dead, and her death is being investigated as a murder. Angela's sister, Toni Kofoed, told investigators, "Angela and James' marriage had always been tumultuous. James had multiple affairs with several women," according to an affidavit filed in the case.


In the affidavit, police reveal motive and actions. "Based on the totality of the investigation, James has shown the planning and intent to end his wife's life by searching for ways to kill someone undetected, providing her poisons that align with her hospitalized symptoms, and working on starting a new life," with a woman from Austin, Texas wrote detective Bobbi Olson. "It appears James was flying this woman into Denver while his wife and the mother of his children was dying in the hospital."

Neighbors of the couple expressed heartbreak over the death of a woman, "We shared a meal with them. We shared drinks with them. We've gone over their house. They've come over to our house," said Karen Lucero, whose children played with some of the Craig's six children. "She would pretty much just give me anything," Lucero said. "It just makes me sick," said Michael, Lucero's husband.

Three times since early March, Angela Craig went to a hospital seeking treatment that doctors had difficulty diagnosing. She entered UCHealth at University of Colorado Anschutz in Aurora for a final time March 15. The allegations are stunning to longtime patients like Anna Nebbe. 

"I don't even know what to say. I've been walking around all day like, 'Is this really happening right now.'" 

Nebbe's daughter was at an appointment on March 6 when she saw James only briefly. "She said, 'No, I didn't get to see him she goes.' Something happened because I guess his face went really white. He says, 'I gotta go. I gotta take my wife to the emergency room and he was out of there.'"

The affidavit shows police uncovered troubling information on computers Craig accessed, including a history of internet searches for topics such as, "Is arsenic detectible in autopsy?" and "Top 5 undetectable poisons that show no signs of foul play." 

Later, police show Craig ordered poisons online, including arsenic from Amazon and an order of potassium cyanide that arrived at the practice. Craig told a worker not to open it, explaining it was personal. But it was opened by mistake, and another worker saw it was potassium cyanide, then re-sealed. The affidavit says Craig, not knowing it was re-sealed, later told his partner in the practice Ryan Redfearn that the package contained a ring. Redfearn reportedly told Craig he knew it did not contain a ring.

According to the affidavit, "James eventually recanted and admitted the package contained potassium cyanide but claimed that Angela asked him to order it. James claimed that Angela couldn't order the potassium cyanide because she didn't have the proper credentials. James told Ryan he ordered the potassium cyanide, but he 'didn't think she [Angela] would actually take it.' James described the situation as being similar to a game of 'chicken.' At that point, Ryan told James to stop talking and get a lawyer."

Angela Craig was brought to UCHealth in Aurora on March 15 by her brother. She was gravely ill. Soon after, she began to have a severe seizure. She had a lack of oxygen and no pupil reaction, and there was pressure on her brain. She was placed in the intensive care unit and onto life support. She did not regain brain activity.


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