By: Stephanie Butzer
ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. (Scripps News Denver) — An Aurora dentist accused of killing his wife by poisoning her protein shakes pleaded not guilty to the charges against him on Monday afternoon.
James Toliver Craig, 45, made the plea in Arapahoe County Court around 4 p.m. Monday in front of Judge Shay Whitaker, who accepted it after discussion about possibly continuing the arraignment.
The jury trial has been scheduled for three weeks in the spring of 2024: April 23 through May 7.
James Craig was arrested March 19, 202, on a charge of first-degree murder after deliberation in connection with the death of his 43-year-old wife Angela Craig, who died in a hospital the day prior. He practiced dentistry at Summerbrook Dental Group. He was formally charged with first-degree murder on March 23 and in mid-July, a charge of solicitation to commit tampering with physical evidence was added.
The family of Angela Craig set up a GoFundMe to support her children and honor her life.
A 52-page arrest affidavit detailed how Angela Craig became sick multiple times in early and mid-March and was hospitalized, but doctors could not determine what was causing her symptoms. During one of the visits, a person alerted a nurse that he believed she had been poisoned, possibly by James Craig, according to the affidavit.
Around 12:30 a.m. on March 16, a detective learned about the decline of Angela Craig’s health. As of that time, she was still on life support with no brain activity. She was pronounced brain dead on March 18 at 4:29 p.m., according to the affidavit.
During a search warrant at the dentist office, police seized computers and they found a user who had searched many poison-related inquiries from a single device, including “How many grams of pure arsenic will kill a human” and “Is arsenic detectable in autopsy?” There had also been searches for chemical suppliers in Aurora. A user had also searched for YouTube videos about making poison, including one titled “Top 5 Undetectable Poisons That Show No Sign of Foul Play.”
According to the affidavit, James Craig made multiple orders for arsenic and cyanide.
Investigators also found communications, including travel plans, with a woman that was “intimate in nature and contained sexually explicit conversations,” according to the affidavit. That woman, a Texas orthodontist identified as Karin Cain, spoke with Scripps News Denver in July, when she said their connection was built on lies.
Through the investigation, police noticed many similarities between Angela Craig’s symptoms and the effects of ingesting cyanide and arsenic, as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A person told authorities they knew James Craig made protein shakes for his wife when they exercised and that she had felt faint and dizzy after drinking them. The protein powder and shakers were seized in a search warrant. Police said in the affidavit that they believe the poison was in those shakes.
A coroner testified in July that Angela Craig’s manner of death was homicide and the cause was poison exposure, namely acute cyanide and tetrahydrozoline poisoning. Other contributing factors were subacute arsenic poisoning.
This story was originally published by Scripps News Denver, an E.W. Scripps Company.