Colorado man who allegedly murdered his wife claims marijuana candy drove him insane
Richard Kirk (Screenshot/7 News)

A man pleading insanity in the murder of his wife while she was on the phone with 911 apparently ate pot candy before the killing, the Associated Press reports. His l

Richard Kirk, 49,  is facing first-degree murder charges in the killing of his wife last year, the AP reports. His defense attorneys have said he was high from eating "Karma Kandy Orange Ginger" and he didn't intend to kill her. He has changed his plea from not guilty to insanity.

The killing stoked fears in Colorado over the safety of marijuana snacks since the state legalized recreational marijuana stores, according to the AP. Lawmakers have been tightening restrictions on pot edibles because of this case and a college student who jumped off a hotel balcony after eating a marijuana cookie.

Experts said the pot excuse won't fly in court.

"At the end of the day, he's not going to be found insane because of some edible marijuana he ingested," Steven Pitt, a forensic psychiatrist, told the AP. "If he's legally insane, it will be because he has a mental disease or defect that is separate and apart from his substance use, which resulted in him being unable to appreciate the wrongfulness of his conduct."

When his wife, Kristine Kirk, was on the phone with a 911 dispatcher, she said her husband was acting paranoid and having hallucinations after eating candy he bought at a marijuana shop. He had climbed through a bedroom window, cutting his legs on broke glass. He went for a gun safe and opened it while his wife pleaded for him not to.

Dispatchers heard the gun go off and then Kristine Kirk went silent. According to the AP, the couple's three sons were home at the time.

The couple had growing marital and financial problems, and Kristine Kirk was covered by a $340,000 life insurance policy. She had told friends she was becoming afraid of her husband because of their escalating fights.