The man who pleaded guilty in the high-profile murder of his wife Kirsten Russell Lockett is sending mixed signals in his only interview since the killing.
Richard Lockett told Denver7’s chief investigative reporter Tony Kovaleski he is responsible for his wife’s death yet he does not believe he actually killed her.
Lockett gave the interview shortly after a judge sentenced him to life without the possibility of parole following his guilty plea to the charge of felony murder.
“I was talking to Kirsten, I turned my back so she didn't see me stab myself on both sides of my neck… I remember blood pouring out all over her pant leg,” Lockett said. “I lost a lot of blood and passed out. And I guess she picked up the knife and stabbed herself.”
Prosecutors and investigators are blasting Lockett’s statements saying there is overwhelming evidence showing he is the killer. Denver7 Investigates reviewed two entire law enforcement case files on Richard Lockett and did not find any evidence to support his claims.
“You realize that's not going to sit well with a lot of people,” Kovaleski told Lockett.
“Absolutely,” he responded.
“Help people understand why you take a guilty plea for the worst possible punishment you can receive life in prison without parole [if you did not kill her],” Kovaleski asked.
“Because I'm guilty of that charge,” Lockett said.
The murder happened after Lockett admittedly broke into the house where his estranged wife and five of her six children slept. The family was staying with Kirsten’s brother in Castle Rock hiding from Richard, who was on the run from the law after being charged with kidnapping Kirsten five days earlier.
Lockett pleaded guilty to felony murder which basically means that someone died during the defendant’s commission of a crime. He says that while he believes he did not strike the deadly blow, his wife would be alive today had he not broken into the home.
Lockett admitted he spent the night before the killing hiding in the backyard outside the window watching his children inside. He said he was depressed and suicidal and in a completely irrational state of mind when he broke into the home.
“What was going through your mind?” Kovaleski asked.
“Not much. I just wanted to die,” he responded. "I thought my spirit would stay with my kids if I killed myself there and I could stay with them.”
“People hearing that for the first time would say that is sick... they would say it's selfish because your kids had to experience what happened,” Kovaleski countered.
“[Now] it would seem insane to do something like that,” Lockett said. “But then my only thought was that I wanted to die.”
Lockett said he agreed to give an interview because he hoped it would help someone recognize they are in a similar situation and seek help.
“What's your message to others that might be on the same path you were on?” Kovaleski asked.
“Get help. Go to church, go get counseling, find a friend. Get help,” Lockett said.
Prosecutors said Lockett’s plea agreement gives him no hope of an appeal or a shortened sentence. And Lockett says he has no illusions he will ever get out of prison regardless of what story he tells.
“I have nothing to gain by this interview, it’s not going to shorten my life sentence... I mean, I am going to be carried out of prison in a box,” Lockett said.
“Life is long, even for him. You know, he's got a long time left even in prison,” Chris Gallo, chief deputy district attorney of the 18th Judicial District, told Denver7 Investigates in response to Lockett’s interview. “There are no appeals, we made sure of that. There's no reduction in sentence, we made sure of that. So a person in that position, what's the only thing they have left to them? Waking up every morning and thinking you're not the villain. And maybe some other people thinking that you're not the villain too.”
“In response to Richard Lockett’s absurd statements of purity, may it be known that Richard silenced the only person who could have disproven his claims. Richard murdered the mother of his children in the most repulsive and evil way imaginable and ultimately pled guilty to those facts in a court of law. Richard Lockett will witness the remainder of his life, in the Colorado Department of Corrections, where he belongs,” added the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office in a statement.