Man Found Guilty of Murder by Fentanyl

( – A 34-year-old man has been convicted of murdering a couple by contaminating their medications with fentanyl. Luke D’Wit was found guilty of murdering Stephen Baxter, 61, and his wife Carol, 64, after ten years of apparent friendship that ended with the married couple’s deaths in April 2023.

D’Wit entered the Baxters’ lives in 2013 when they hired him to make a website for their business. Even after the work was done, D’Wit remained in touch with them and became a trusted friend over the years, albeit one that eventually “irritated” the Baxters owing to his frequent appearances at their home in Essex, England.

D’Wit is said to have taken an active role in the older couple’s health, seemingly trying to help Mrs. Baxter with her Hashimoto’s disease, a health condition that affects the thyroid. Prosecutors told the court that D’Wit used Mrs. Baxter’s illness in order to exert more influence over the pair, posing as two different doctors online and even setting up a fake support group for sufferers of the condition. Detective Superintendent Rob Kirby described a “complex web” of lies and false identities created by D’Wit in order to manipulate his so-called friends.

The prosecution said that D’Wit hoped to gain financially through his exploits, and rewrote their will before tampering with their medicine and poisoning them with fentanyl patches he got from his late grandfather, who had been given them to cope with pain caused by cancer. The couple’s son, Harry, claimed that D’Wit had been drugging his mother long before her death, causing her to behave strangely. Before her murder, Carol Baxter had at one point been found to have had metal tacks inside her stomach during a medical scan. During D’Wit’s arrest, a bag was found in his home which contained fentanyl patches and metal tacks matching the type found in Carol Baxter’s stomach previously.

The Baxters were killed some time between Friday April 7 and Sunday April 9, which was Easter Sunday. Their 22-year-old daughter Ellie found them dead in their home on Easter Sunday, and was soon joined by D’Wit, who called the emergency services. Prosecutor Tracy Ayling told the court that the IT worker had installed a surveillance app on his cell phone that showed the inside of the Baxters’ home and would have been able to watch the pair die and their daughter arrive to find them dead.

D’Wit, who used a wheelchair throughout the month-long trial without any given explanation, showed no visible shock at the verdict. He had proclaimed his innocence throughout, claiming that Mr. Baxter had asked him to create false identities in order to help Mrs. Baxter and to improve their marriage.

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