Valentine's Day cards illustrate conflicts

By Diana Baldwin Published: December 12, 2001
Two Valentine's Day cards expressing love between a husband and wife became evidence Tuesday in the murder trial of a prominent Oklahoma City doctor.

A card to murder defendant Dr. John Baxter Hamilton included handwritten messages from his wife, Susan, referring to marital problems that surfaced after she purchased his Valentine's Day card.

"I bought my cards two weeks ago, so they don't seem as appropriate now. I love you. Have a good day," Susan Hamilton, 55, wrote in the card before she was killed on Valentine's Day at their Quail Creek home. "Obviously, I bought this before last Monday."

The card was discovered by police during a search of the trunk of John Hamilton's 1996 Jaguar.

She was apparently referring to the discovery of some 60 calls to a patient and topless dancer on her husband's cell phone bill. Testimony has shown Susan Hamilton suspected her husband was having an affair. But Susan Hamilton's best friend, Shary Coffey, testified that the victim may have changed her mind and thought her suspicions might be wrong.

The defendant and Alliena Aguirre, the stripper, have denied having an affair. Aguirre said the doctor was giving her samples of medication for depression because she didn't have the money to purchase the drug.

John Hamilton, 53, is on trial for killing his wife. If convicted of first-degree murder, the gynecologist could be sentenced to prison for life with or without the possibility of parole.

Testimony is expected to continue this morning before District Judge Ray Elliott.

An opened Valentine's Day card to Susan Hamilton was discovered by police in the kitchen during the investigation into the slaying.

"I know this has been a difficult time for us," John Hamilton wrote in the card to his wife. "We are important, loving, caring people together.

"My life would be incomplete without you. I love you. John."

Oklahoma City police Sgt. Larry Sanders testified Hamilton told him he returned home about 8:30 that morning after performing a 7 a.m. surgery so he and his wife could exchange Valentine's Day cards.

"... and in his words hugging and kissing," Sanders said Hamilton told him while they sat in the officer's patrol car during the crime scene investigation.

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