A 48-year-old Denver man was ordered on Friday to stand trial for allegedly shooting and killing his wife, then asking their 7-year-old son to do the same to him, KCNC-TV reported.
Denver District Court Judge Elizabeth Starrs determined that there was enough evidence to send Richard Kirk to trial on a first-degree murder charge. Police testified that he was able to open a house safe and retrieve the gun to kill his wife, 44-year-old Kristine Kirk (pictured above), on April 14 while she was on the phone with a 911 dispatcher.
The Denver Post reported that, according to police testimony, Kristine Kirk told the dispatcher that her husband had begun behaving erratically after eating a marijuana-laced candy, and said he might have mixed it with prescription pain medicine.
The suspect was also reportedly hallucinating and blaming the “blood moon” for his demeanor, and reportedly asked his wife to shoot him. She said at the time that he had never exhibited this type of behavior.
More than 12 minutes into the call, Detective Troy Bisgard testified, the alleged victim can be heard saying, “Fine, I’ll do it. Just give me the gun.” Ten seconds after that statement, a gunshot can be heard, then silence.
Police arrived at the residence seven minutes later, at which point two of the couple’s three children ran outside for safety, while the 7-year-old son was in his room. Kirk allegedly told officers that he was “the most powerful person in the Church of Latter-Day Saints” and admitted to killing his wife.
The 7-year-old boy told officers that Richard Kirk asked him to shoot him dead so that he and his wife “could be together with God.”
Authorities recovered an empty bottle of hydrocodone, as well as a partially-eaten marijuana candy and an unsmoked marijuana cigarette, all purchased on the evening of the shooting. However, a toxicology report later found no traces of any prescription drugs in Richard Kirk’s system, but did discover a small amount of THC, the active ingredient in the drug, which was legalized in November 2012.
Bisgard also testified that, according to the couple’s friends and relatives, the Kirks had hit “a rough patch.” They owed the Internal Revenue Service $2,580, due the day after the shooting, and owed about $40,000 in credit card bills.
Watch KCNC’s report on the judge’s ruling, as aired on Friday, below.