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Police: Man ate pot candy before shooting wife

By Sadie Gurman

Associated Press


DENVER >> A Denver man accused of killing his wife while she was on the phone with a 911 dispatcher ate marijuana-infused candy before the attack, according to search warrants released Thursday.

Kristine Kirk, 44, told dispatchers her husband bought and ate the candy and may have also taken prescription pain pills before he started hallucinating and frightening the couple's three children, the documents state.

She pleaded with dispatchers to hurry and send officers because her husband, Richard Kirk, 47, had asked her to get a gun and shoot him. She said she was "scared of what he might do."

Richard Kirk could be heard in the background of the 911 call talking about the candy he bought from a pot dispensary earlier that night, and surveillance footage from the shop captured the transaction, police said.

It was unclear whether the marijuana influenced his behavior. A detective who interviewed him after the killing noted that he appeared to be under the influence of controlled substances based on his speech and inability to focus, according to the warrants. Police said Richard Kirk was rambling and confessed to killing his wife.

Blood samples will be tested to see whether he was on any other drugs or medications.

The Denver Police Department is also investigating whether police responded to the 911 call quickly enough. Police Chief Robert White held a news conference Thursday but refused to provide details about the shooting or the probe, or say whether he thought officers took too long to respond.

"This is an ongoing investigation, and I just cannot get into anything that would remotely compromise it," he said.

Authorities have said Richard Kirk shot his wife in the head about 12 minutes into her call with 911, after she frantically told dispatchers her husband was getting a gun from a safe.

A detective who listened to the 911 call wrote in court documents that he heard her scream and then a gunshot before the line went quiet. Officers arrived just after the shooting and found her dead of a gunshot wound to the head.

Officials have not released the 911 call or dispatch records publicly, but the search warrants say Kristine Kirk sounded "panicked" as she told dispatchers her husband was retrieving the gun.

"She next related that he had the gun and she did not know where to go," the warrant says. Within a few seconds, dispatchers could hear her screaming.

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