Denver homicide suspect who ate pot appears in court

DENVER -New details have emerged in the murder of a Denver woman allegedly killed by her husband after he ate a marijuana edible.

Richard Kirk has been charged in the death of his wife Kris. The incident happened in Denver's Observatory Park neighborhood in April.

During the Friday evidentiary hearing, Denver Police Homicide Detective Troy Bisgard told the court that based on his interviews with the couple's friends, Richard and Kris Kirk were having marital problems. He said they were fighting, had financial disagreements and a large amount of credit card debt.

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Court records released early in the case stated Kris Kirk told the 911 call taker she suspected her husband took a pain pill and ate a marijuana edible.

According to court testimony, detectives found an empty hydrocodone bottle with Richard Kirk's name on it, but the bottle was old. Detectives also found additional -- more recent -- prescriptions for Richard Kirk's back pain.

Further examination revealed Richard Kirk didn't have anything but THC in his system.

Bisgard also went through the details of Kris' 911 call, which has been extensively covered by 9NEWS.

He told the court Kris Kirk told the 911 call taker her husband was hallucinating and acting irrationally.

"We've been married 15 years, my kids and I have never seen him acting like this," Kris told the 911 call taker, according to testimony in open court.

She also said the behavior Richard was exhibiting "came out of the complete blue."

Court testimony revealed that Kris Kirk told 911 that Richard's behavior started 30 to 45 minutes prior to the call. She said he wasn't violent, but seemed drunk.

Court testimony revealed Kris asked for police and said three children were in the house. She told police Richard was acting paranoid, asking her to take the gun and shoot him.

According to court testimony, Kris told 911 that she didn't know what her husband was going to do.

"Please hurry," she said, according to testimony.

While on the phone with 911, Richard Kirk could be heard telling Kris she was "smarter and stronger than him."

Kris told police she was scared and told her three young kids to stay downstairs.

According to DPD detective's testimony in court, 12 minutes 11 seconds into the 911 call, Kris told Richard, "don't go in there stay away from the gun."

12 minutes 13 seconds: "He's now getting into the safe."

12 minutes 16 seconds: "He's getting into the gun safe."

Kris was panicked, according to court testimony, yelling at Richard to stop.

12 minutes 30 seconds into the call: Kris repeatedly told Richard to stop. Then she says "fine, I'll do it."

12 minutes 38 seconds: she's heard screaming and running.

12 minutes 40 seconds: a gunshot is heard. Kris stops screaming.

19 minutes 50 seconds: the officers can be heard knocking at the door.

As previously reported by 9NEWS, the Denver Police Department was found to have responded to the Kirk home within the average time officers respond to calls like this.

When Kris Kirk called 911, a call taker handled their conversation, sharing the notes with the dispatcher, who communicated with police.

Investigators who looked into the call have said the 911 dispatcher mishandled it. She no longer works for the city of Denver.

A DPD Detective testified that after conducting multiple interviews with the couple's friends, police learned the couple had been fighting and had financial problems.

After an argument, the two went four days without speaking. A month before the shooting, Richard Kirk asked a friend if he could move in with him, because he and Kris were having problems.

Court testimony revealed the Kirks had $40,000 in credit card debt. Kirk also had a $304,000 insurance policy on his wife.

Kirk's public defender told the judge Kirk may have eaten more marijuana than he was advised. Kirk is said to have consumed a 100 mlg candy. His defense attorney said Kirk was advised to consume only 10 mlg.

The defense also said Kirk wasn't making any sense after the arrest. He allegedly asked police to allow him to call his wife and children to let them know what was going on.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)


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