'Heinous, complex and calculated murder': Aurora dentist arrested in wife's poisoning death

Police say suspect drove wife to hospital after she complained of headaches, dizziness
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Posted at 3:24 PM, Mar 19, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-22 09:31:49-04

AURORA, Colo. — An Aurora dentist was arrested for the alleged poisoning death of his wife in what police said called a “heinous, complex and calculated murder,” the Aurora Police Department announced Sunday.

Officers arrested James Toliver Craig, 45, early Sunday morning and booked him into jail on charges of first-degree murder.

Police are accusing Craig of poisoning his 43-year-old wife, who died Saturday at a local hospital. The type of poison allegedly used in the murder was not disclosed.

According to police, around 8:45 p.m. Wednesday, Craig drove his wife to a local hospital because she was complaining of severe headaches and dizziness.

Shortly after arriving at the hospital, the wife’s condition deteriorated rapidly, and she was placed on a ventilator in an intensive care unit. She was declared medically brain dead a short time later, according to a department release.

Aurora police said an investigation was launched soon after the wife’s sudden illness and an arrest warrant was obtained early Sunday morning shortly after doctors decided to take the victim off life support.

“When the suspicious details of this case came to light, our team of officers and homicide detectives tirelessly worked to uncover the truth behind the victim’s sudden illness and death,” said Division Chief Mark Hildebrand in a release. “It was quickly discovered this was in fact a heinous, complex and calculated murder. I am very proud of our Major Crimes Homicide Unit’s hard work in solving this case and pursuing justice for the victim.”

According to his website, Craig practices dentistry at Summerbrook Dental Group, located at 14991 East Hampden Avenue in Aurora.

Denver7 spoke with three different people who said they are clients of Craig's, and cannot believe his arrest.

"He was literally the best dentist I ever had. That's why I recommended him to my mom. That's why I recommended my brother. So, it was a large clientele that came here under that trust," said Andrew Orth, who claims he was at the office last week and had to see a different dentist, because Craig was at the hospital with his wife due to a medical emergency.

New details: Aurora dentist accused of poisoning, killing wife

Craig’s bio page states that he has six children with his wife, and he graduated from dental school at the University of Missouri at Kansas City.

Danielle Travis said one of the reasons she bonded with Craig were his children, since she also brings her kids to his dental practice.

“My first thought was really first of his kids, and then second of his employees who have also been incredibly nice people," said Travis. “I just can't imagine any kids, six kids, being without a mother and potentially even being without their father and again, someone who I would have never, ever expected to be in this kind of situation.”

The victim's identity has not been released, but the Summerbrook Dental Group website identifies Craig's wife as Angela.

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