Alleged Colorado Wife-Killer High on Edible Marijuana Pleads Insanity

Denver Police Department
Denver Police Department

Richard Kirk, 49, of Denver, who murdered his wife while high on marijuana candy on April 14, 2014, has changed his plea of not guilty to a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity.

Kirk purchased the “Karma Kandy Orange Ginger” candy at a legal pot shop. His wife Kristine called 911 at 9:31 p.m., roughly half an hour after he started hallucinating, according to Denver police Detective Troy Bisgard. Kristine told the 911 operator that her husband was climbing back and forth through their son’s bedroom window, raving about the end of the world, while she hid their three young sons in the basement.

Kirk asked his wife to kill him and had taken a semi-automatic handgun from the gun safe. She begged him to “stay away from the gun,” yelling, “Stop it! Stop it!” She finally capitulated, saying, “Fine I’ll do it. Just give me the gun,” according to Bisgard, who added that eight seconds later Kristine was screaming.

When police arrived, the two older sons ran to the police car, but the youngest son was found in his bedroom, where he told police, “Dad shot Mom.”

Defense attorneys argue that Kirk’s ingestion of “Karma Kandy Orange Ginger” triggered his violence. They asserted that he may not have wanted to kill his wife. Prosecutors have responded that Kirk had the presence of mind to use the code for the gun safe before he pressed the gun to her head.

Bisgard stated that the couple had increased financial trouble, and Kristine had a $340,000 life insurance policy. In August 2014, at a preliminary hearing, when Kirk was led into the courtroom, he smiled at his family and his wife’s family, some of whom lowered their heads to hide their tears.

In response to the Kirk murder and the death of Levy Thamba, 19, who ate marijuana-infused cookies and then jumped to his death from a hotel balcony in April 2014, Colorado lawmakers have stiffened the laws for selling edible marijuana in 2015.