A man described as an “abusive son of a bitch” has been jailed for life after murdering his wife who he accused of failing to perform her “wifely duties”.
A jury in Tarrant County, Texas, found Victor Baxter guilty on Friday for one count of murder relating to the 2019 death of Mary Baxter, prosecutors said.
Investigators had initially said that there were no signs of foul play in Mary’s death, but a post-mortem determined she had died from strangulation.
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Mary’s death followed years of horrific abuse.
At one doctor’s appointment in 2018, suspicions were raised after Mary was found to have a catalogue of unexplained injuries including cuts, bruises, and a broken thumb.
The following day, reports the Star-Telegram, Mary filed a police report in which she claimed that Baxter was physically abusing her and “forcing her to begin a massage business in their home and perform sexual acts on clients for money”.
A few months later, after complaining Mary was “not completing wifely duties,” Baxter took Mary’s wedding ring away from her and hid it in a locked safe.
In the following February, Baxter reportedly hit Mary several times, bruising her left eye and right cheek.
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“After the assault, he told her to put ice on her injuries, cover them with makeup, and come up with a lie to tell people,” the Star-Telegram reported. “On March 10, 2019, the day before she died, Mary Baxter went to a pet store with a hat and sunglasses on to cover her two black eyes.”
She bought a cat at the pet shop, but Baxter forced her to give it up.
He continued to be physically and emotionally, abusive, telling her on one occasion: “I am super pissed at you . . . there’s no love in me for you . . . keep your wedding band off”.
After Mary’s death several women that had known Baxter came forward to testify about his abuse – one woman told how he had sexually assaulted his own daughter.
Another woman who dated Baxter reportedly called him an “abusive son of a bitch.”
If you have been affected by issues of domestic violence or coercive control you can call Refuge 's 24-Hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline for free. The number is 0808 2000 247
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