A 61-year-old serial abuser in Texas will spend the rest of his life behind bars for violently killing his 40-year-old wife inside of their home. A Tarrant County jury on Friday found Victor Baxter guilty on one count of murder in the 2019 death of Mary Baxter, prosecutors announced.
Just hours after convicting Baxter on the murder charge, the jury subsequently sentenced him to a term of life in prison.
Officers with the North Richland Hills Police Department at approximately 1:30 a.m. on March 11, 2019 responded to a 911 call from a home located in the 7700 block of Amy Lane near Smithfield Road and Starnes Road, Fort Worth NBC affiliate KXAS-TV reported. Police reportedly said that the call came from inside the home just before 1 a.m. and that the caller reported an adult woman in distress. Mary was reportedly pronounced dead a short time after authorities arrived on the scene.
According to a report from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, police initially said there were no signs of foul play in Mary’s death. However, the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office then ruled that Mary’s manner of death was a homicide and the cause of death was determined to be asphyxia by strangulation.
In court documents obtained by the Star-Telegram, prosecutors asserted that Baxter had a history of physically, mentally, and emotionally abusing Mary and several other women stretching back decades. For example, Mary in March 2018 reportedly went to a doctor’s office where a nurse questioned her about a series of injuries, including cuts, bruises, and a broken thumb. The following day, 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,” per the Star-Telegram.
Mary had also reportedly planned to leave Baxter and deposited money into a separate bank account to fund that effort. However, Baxter reportedly discovered the separate account and transferred every dollar into his own personal account.
In June 2018, Baxter reportedly became upset with Mary for “not completing wifely duties,” taking her wedding ring from her and placing it in a safe she could not access. In February 2019, he reportedly hit Mary multiple times, bruising her left eye and right cheek. The following month, Baxter reportedly assaulted her again.
“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.”
That day, Mary reportedly adopted a cat, which Baxter later made her return. That evening, Baxter was again physically and emotionally abusive towards Mary.
“I am super pissed at you . . . there’s no love in me for you . . . keep your wedding band off,” he reportedly told her.
The next day she was dead.
Multiple women reportedly provided investigators with testimony about Baxter’s abuse. A woman he was married to for nearly 20 years reportedly said that when she refused to give him money, he pushed her to the ground and injured her head and jaw and was subsequently arrested. He also reportedly had multiple affairs during the marriage, one of which resulted in the birth of a daughter. Baxter reportedly sexually assaulted that daughter when the girl was in middle school.
Prosecutors said that when he was locked up in Tarrant County Jail, Baxter on several occasions offered his daughter money and a new house if she would testify on his behalf. Just months later he filed for bankruptcy.
Another woman who dated Baxter reportedly called him an “abusive son of a bitch.”
[image via Tarrant County Jail]
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