DENVER - Investigators say just weeks before Richard Kirk shot and killed his wife while allegedly hallucinating after eating marijuana-laced candy, he changed his payroll deposit from a joint account to a personal account, according to court documents.
The court documents obtained by 7NEWS show that Richard and Kristine Kirk had been fighting for several weeks before the shooting occurred.
Denver police learned about the extent of the couple's marital tension from talking to family members and friends.
One of Kristine's friends told investigators that Kristine said Mr. Kirk had been "verbally abusive to her over the phone" six weeks prior to the shooting, and that he made the payroll deposit changes after that argument.
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A friend of Richard's told police that Mr. Kirk called him a month before the homicide and asked if he could stay at his house for a while "because he was having a hard time with Kris." The friend told him "no."
Police also interviewed the victim's sister. She provided them with a transcript of a conversation she had with Kristine on March 6. Police reviewed the transcript and noted that Kristine Kirk told her sister she and her husband were "fighting bad" and "not talking right now." Mrs. Kirk also stated that she was worried about money because Mr. Kirk was holding onto his bonus pay.
Detectives talked to another friend of Kristine's who told them that the victim had been very angry over an incident that had occurred prior to spring break. The court document doesn't state what that incident was. The friend told police that the Kirk's marriage had its "ups and downs" and "lately, it seemed to be a little worse."
Richard Kirk is still being held without bond in the Denver Detention Center. He has been charged with first-degree murder after deliberation.
7NEWS asked criminal defense attorney Daniel Recht to look at the court documents. He said they hint at a possible motive for the shooting.
"When someone stops putting their money into a joint account in a marriage and starts squirrelling it away in their own account, it indicates a high incidence of turmoil with the couple and maybe creates a motive for one shooting the other," Recht said.
On April 14, Kristine Kirk called 911 and told the operator that Richard appeared to be hallucinating and that she was worried about her safety and the safety of their children.
Police say she told the operator that her husband was so impaired after eating some marijuana-laced candy called "Karma Kandy Orange Ginger," that he was crawling through a bedroom window and cutting his legs on broken glass.
In the probable cause statement released earlier, authorities said Kris told them "her husband was talking like it was the end of the world… and had asked her to get the gun to shoot him."
"At one point during the call Mrs. Kirk sounds panicked and tells the 911 operator that Richard was taking the firearm out of the safe. She next related that he had the gun and she didn't know where to go," the document stated. "Within seconds, the wife "can be heard screaming. The screaming stopped after hearing what [the detective] believes is the sound of a gunshot. The 911 phone line remained open, but Mrs. Kirk is never heard from again," the detective wrote.
Officers entered the home and found a black semi-automatic handgun on the floor of the front room and a cartridge on the floor in a hallway. Police found Kristine Kirk lying on the floor nearby. She was pronounced dead at the scene just before 10 p.m.
During the preliminary hearing, a detective testified that the only substance found in Richard Kirk's system was THC.
The big question, did that THC impair him?
When asked if it's possible that Kirk was faking his hallucinations, Recht said, "Certainly it's possible he was faking, on the other hand, when his wife called 911, she certainly did not think he was faking it."
Police have talked to friends of the suspect who say they received text messages from him the night of the shooting.
They've been granted a search warrant to learn the content of the messages sent and received.
Kirk is due back in court on Dec. 19.
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