Man accused of killing wife while high on edibles will stand trial


(Photo: Denver Police Department)

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DENVER — The man accused of fatally shooting his wife while investigators said he was high on marijuana edibles will stand trial, a judge ruled Thursday.

Richard Kirk pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in September to a first-degree murder charge in the death of his wife Kris.

A judge ordered a mental evaluation for Kirk at the Colorado Mental Health Institute in Pueblo. While the results were not disclosed in court, it is assumed he is competent to stand trial because a trial date was set, a court spokeswoman said.

The two-week trial will begin March 6.

Kris Kirk called 911 in April 2014 and said her husband was asking her to shoot him and “totally hallucinating.” She was on the phone for 13 minutes while police responded to the home near East Evans Avenue and South St. Paul Street.

Richard Kirk ate a marijuana edible just before the shooting, and investigators later found a partially eaten pot candy and an untouched joint in the house. The couple’s three children were inside the home at the time of the shooting.

During a preliminary hearing in August 2014, lead Det. Troy Wisgaard testified that Kris Kirk first told 911 operators her husband was acting irrationally and that he was on marijuana.

Twelve minutes into the call, the detective said she panicked and told the operator “I don’t know what my husband is going to do.”

She says “‘my husband had marijuana.’ And then you hear her scream, ‘Don’t go in there! Stay away from the gun! Stop! Stop!’”

By that point police still had not arrived. Wisgaard said Kris Kirk’s screaming and running could be heard followed by the fatal gunshot. The length of time it took police to get there ultimately led to the dispatcher’s resignation.

wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against the marijuana store and manufacturer that sold the edible to Richard Kirk. Attorneys for Richard Kirk claim the marijuana edible karma candy orange ginger caused his “delirium and psychotic-like symptoms.”

The lawsuit claims marijuana retailer Nutritional Elements and manufacturer Gaia’s Garden recklessly failed to put “warning labels, instructions or  recommendations” on the bite-size edible.

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