In his first police interview after killing the mother of his three children, Richard Kirk seemed high, paranoid and disorganized, according to a 9NEWS expert who watched the interview.
Dr. Max Wachtel, a forensic psychologist, watched the videotaped interview that was obtained by 9Wants to Know through an open records request.
Kirk pleaded guilty Friday to the 2014 murder of his wife, Kris, and was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
The interview was conducted less than two hours after the killing. Click here to watch the full interview
“Are you LDS?” was the first question Kirk asked Denver police homicide Det. Troy Bisgard when Bisgard walked into the interview room. LDS is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Kirk said he was a member of the church.
At the point Kirk asked the question, it had been less than two hours since Kirk shot his wife.
“You married?” Kirk asked.
“I'm not,” Bisgard replied.
“You have a mom though?” Kirk asked.
“I do,” Bisgard said.
“You know her well?” Kirk asked.
“I do,” Bigard answered.
“That's what I'm trying to help everyone find,” Kirk said.
“Is their mom?” Bisgard asked?
“And the ones they love,” Kirk replied.
The attempt at an interview on April 14, 2014, went on for about 20 minutes. It’s a bit circular in nature.
Bisgard repeatedly tried to read Kirk his rights – to remain silent, against self-incrimination, to have an attorney.
“Do you understand each of these rights that I've read to you?” Bisgard asked after reading the Miranda warning to Kirk.
“I was kind of spaced out. Do you want to go over them?” Kirk said.
“We'll go over them again,” Bisgard said.
Bisgard did, and then he asked Kirk again if he understood.
“Not exactly,” said Kirk.
During the conversation, Kirk didn’t once mention the shooting or anything about what he just did – killing his wife in front of their 7-year-old son while she was on the phone with 911.
“Who else is interested in the truth? You or me?” Kirk asked Bisgard at one point.
“You and me right here,” Bisgard answered.
“So far nobody's been interested in the truth,” Kirk said.
“Honestly, my first reaction was that the guy was really, really high and paranoid and kind of psychotically disorganized because of the amount of THC in his system,” Wachtel said, a 9NEWS psychologist. “What he was saying didn’t make any sense. It was very confused.”
9Wants to Know shared the video interview with Wachtel so he could offer an opinion about Kirk’s state of mind.
“We don't know where the truth lies in this case,” Wachtel said. “Why he did what he did. If it was caused by marijuana or something else. What we do know is that everybody involved in the case is going to have to come to terms with the fact that we're really never going to know the truth and that's frustrating. But at the same time, it doesn't really matter, because if he had been super high and that was the only thing that caused him to kill his wife, he's still criminally liable for that and he made the choice to take that edible and take that risk.”
Kirk's bloodwork showed THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, in his system but no other drugs or alcohol.
“As far as psycho-active substances go, marijuana is one of the safest by far for adults,” Wachtel said. “Does it cause people to go psychotic and kill somebody else? Almost never. Can it? Absolutely.”
Kirk's interview ends fairly abruptly, with Det. Bisgard seemingly no closer to the truth than when he first sat down.
“Let’s go see someone from the church while we do it,” Kirk said to Bisgard.
“An attorney from the church?” Bisgard asked. “Do you want to talk to an attorney from the church?”
Kirk nodded. Bisgard said, “Okay.”
The interview was over. Kirk has repeatedly denied interview requests from 9Wants to Know.