Edible marijuana may be key to defense of man accused of killing wife

DENVER — Police say Richard Kirk smoked and ate marijuana products just hours before shooting his wife to death in their home last week.

And that could be a key part of his defense.

He’s charged with first degree murder in the death of his wife Kristine.

Some say he will never be convicted of first degree murder.

Legal experts say it’s different than alcohol, where the effects are predictable. Legal marijuana and edible marijuana in particular is so new, it could be argued Kirk did not realize how it would affect him.

Police say Kirk admits he shot and killed his wife in the home on South St. Paul Street near East Evans Avenue while she was on the phone with 911.

“I don’t see a first degree murder conviction,” says legal analyst Dan Recht.

One of the first things Kristine Kirk told 911 was that her husband had been using marijuana.

Recht says that will be one of the first things his defense attorneys argue. “The defense will bring up intoxication by high concentration of marijuana. With absolute certainty you will see it as part of their defense.”

According to the incident detail report FOX31 Denver obtained which details the 911 call, Kristine Kirk told the operator her husband had taken marijuana and was hallucinating.

Other police documents reveal the 911 call taker heard Kirk in the background talking about taking marijuana candy.

Police found he bought edible marijuana called Karma Kandy Orange Ginger less than three hours before the shooting.

“This is really uncharted territory,” Recht says.

He also says while being drunk typically isn’t a defense, the unknowns about edible marijuana and its effects on people will be used in this case. “The defense will argue strongly that this is an involuntary intoxication in the sense that he didn’t know it would produce this kind of effect on his mental state.”

The reason this is so important is the sentencing. A first degree murder conviction could mean life in prison but if Kirk is convicted on a lesser charge such as manslaughter, he might only get probation and not serve any prison time at all.

8 comments

  • Ja Ar

    yea because what the pain killers this man took couldn’t be capable of that. How much is big pharma paying fox to not focus on their product?

  • dougsmith42

    This coward murdered his wife in cold blood. Obviously there is something else to the story that this man is not saying. And they might let him walk? Put me on that jury.

  • Nicole LeAnn Stout

    Whatever this guy probably ate the edibles and smoked after he decided to kill his wife to try to get a defense. Anyone who actually believes this is true probably believes “affluenza” is a real condition that wasn’t just made up to keep rihies out of jail.

  • Ken S. Duckworth

    sounds like a set up, to help make the movement look bad…. anyone who knows how cannabis affects a person would know right away that murder, is for sure something a person high on weed, of any form, is not something that would happen… maybe murdering some potato chips, but not his wife…

  • reeferrenegades

    I agree it doesn’t make sense to me at all. I love how marijuana is new and no one knows anything about it… yet it’s been used for over 12000 years.. only a small portion of that time with it being illegal, and while it was illegal(and still is), it was extensively(negatively) studied and grown for the NIDA(46 years now compared to 12 for your average pill). It is odd to me that every time something once thought to be bad or illegal gets any kind of momentum, suddenly something very uncommon and bad happens. I mean in this recent news, marijuana goes thousands of years with out being linked to any death from using. Then the week before 4/20 in the first legal year in two states, we have two different issues. Issues that seem as if they were taken out of Reefer Madness..

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