Police: Man ate pot candy before shooting wife

Richard Kirk mug domestic homicide

Denver police arrested Richard Kirk on April 14, 2014, in connection to the death of his wife. (Photo: Denver Police Department)

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DENVER — Richard Kirk, the Denver father accused of killing his wife while she was on the phone with 911 had eaten marijuana infused candy hours before he started hallucinating in his University Park home.

Kirk, 47, faces charges of first-degree murder in the shooting. According to his arrest affidavit, he bought the candy around 6:40 p.m. on Monday. About three hours later, his wife Kristine Kirk called 911 saying her husband was asking him to shoot her.

Kristine Kirk spent 13 minutes on the phone with a 911 operator. At one point, she told the operator to “please hurry” in sending a police officer to the home because Richard Kirk was scaring their children, the affidavit said.

The call ends with Kristine Kirk screaming and then a gunshot, the affidavit said.

She was found shot in the head inside the home, police said. According to Denver Police, Richard Kirk admitted to shooting his wife after he was arrested.

Richard Kirk rambled when he was put inside a patrol car and told officers “he was the strongest in the Church of Latter Day Saints and he had killed his wife,” according to the affidavit.

Detectives said they found a receipt from Nutritional Elements, a marijuana store in southeast Denver. The affidavit said that Richard Kirk bought “Karma Kandy Orange Ginger” at the store and a “Pre 98 Bubba Kush Pre-Roll,” which is a pre-rolled joint.

Agency investigating response time

Kristine Kirk called 911 about 9:30 Monday night saying her husband had eaten editable marijuana and was hallucinating.

Initially Kristine Kirk did not appear to be immediately threatened. However, she started screaming on the phone. Shortly thereafter the 911 dispatcher heard a gunshot.

Police have said Kristine Kirk was on the phone for 13 minutes before officers arrived.

“Based on the call and the nature of it, we responded within acceptable standards,” said Police spokesman Sonny Jackson.

DPD said they prioritized the call as a domestic violence incident — although not the most critical level.

The department has been criticized for response times in the past. Denver’s city auditor is conducting an independent investigation. That report is due in June.

According to statistics from Denver police, the average response time for calls labeled as the highest priority domestic violence in progress is about 14 minutes in 2013.

Priority two calls had a 20-minute response time.

This year, the response time for priority-one calls was 13 minutes.

During a news conference Thursday afternoon, Denver Police Chief Robert White said the Department conduct an internal investigation.

“Obviously something went wrong,” because a woman died, White said. However, he refused to discuss the case in depth citing the active investigation.

White said the public should be confident in DPD’s response to 911 calls. “Our officers have phenomenal training. Our dispatchers have phenomenal training,” he said.

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