Former police officer James Baldwin will spend the rest of his life behind bars for murdering his wife Judy Orr Baldwin in Chester, South Carolina and then trying to cover it up.
A jury found Baldwin guilty of murder on November 5 and sentenced him to life in prison. Mrs. Baldwin died of severe blunt force trauma to her head.
Baldwin served as a patrol officer in the city of York, SC in the early 1990s and later worked for the Columbia Police Department. He was then a dispatcher for Chester County.
Baldwin faked a car accident in Dec. 2016 to cover up his wife’s murder, WBTV News reports.
Prosecutors said in court that Mrs. Baldwin was beaten at her home and that Baldwin faked a wreck afterward. Sixth Circuit Deputy Solicitor Candice Lively said in court that Baldwin used his police experience to manipulate the investigation.
Mrs. Baldwin’s injuries were not consistent with a crash or an accident, prosecutors said.
According to deputies, Baldwin told them his wife fell from a ladder while decorating a Christmas tree at their home. Baldwin said they got into a car accident on the way to the hospital, but investigators believe the wreck was staged.
Baldwin told law enforcement that he was rushing his wife to a hospital when he ran off a rural Chester County road and crashed into a creek. Mrs. Baldwin had a 24-centimeter skull fracture.
Jurors deliberated a little over two hours before rendering the guilty verdict. Baldwin will be sentenced at a later date.