Man who claimed marijuana made him kill his wife receives sentence
The trial of a 50-year-old man who killed his wife while investigators say he was high on marijuana edibles has finally come to an end.
Richard Kirk, who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in February, was sentenced to 30 years in prison on Friday, according to KDVR.
In September, Kirk pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, citing marijuana intoxication, to a first-degree murder charge in the slaying of his wife, Kristine.
Since he ended up taking the plea deal, parental rights of the couples' three children will be granted to Kristine Kirk's parents.
"We miss Kris every day," Kristine Kirk's family said in a statement when the plea agreement was reached. "We are grateful that this case has been resolved to save us all from the stress if a trial."
Denver District Attorney Beth McCann said in her own statement that all involved feel this is a fair resolution to a complicated and tragic case.
"Mr. Kirk has accepted responsibility for the murder of his wife and the range of sentence possibilities will allow the judge and the public to hear any facts in mitigation and aggravation of the situation," she said.
After a court-ordered mental evaluation for Kirk at the Colorado Mental Health Institute in Pueblo, he was deemed competent to stand trial.
According to KDVR, Kristine Kirk called 911 on April 14, 2014, and said her husband was asking her to shoot him and hallucinating.
Twelve minutes into the call, she panicked and said, "I don't know what my husband is going to do."
She also mentioned that her husband "had marijuana," then screamed "Don't go in there! Stay away from the gun! Stop! Stop!," KDVR reports.
Richard Kirk reportedly ate a marijuana edible just before the slaying, and investigators later found a partially eaten pot candy and an untouched joint int he house. All three children were inside during the shooting.
A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against the store and manufacturer that sold the edible to Richard by his attorneys, claiming the marijuana edible karma candy orange ginger caused his "delirium and psychotic-like symptoms."
The lawsuit claims retailer Nutritional Elements and manufacturer Gaia's Garden failed to put "warning labels, instructions or recommendations," on the edible.