Insanity plea entered in pot candy-linked murder

Posted at 5:54 PM, Sep 18, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-18 19:54:40-04

Richard Kirk, who is accused of killing his wife while high on marijuana edibles, has changed his plea to not guilty by reason of insanity.

Richard Kirk, 48, is charged with first-degree murder. His trial was scheduled for Oct. 26 and he had previously pleaded not guilty. 

The change to the insanity plea came Friday morning during a status hearing.

On April 14, 2014, 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, according to court documents.

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 Kirks have three sons.