Dagga sweet wife-killer gets 30 years

2017-04-09 07:36
Richard Kirk. (Denver police, AP)

Richard Kirk. (Denver police, AP)

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Denver - A US man who claimed that eating marijuana-infused candy led him to kill his wife has been sentenced to 30 years in prison in a case that helped raise concerns about the potency of pot edibles.

Richard Kirk, 50, was charged in the April 2014 shooting of Kristine Kirk at the couple's home. Moments before he shot her in the head, Kristine Kirk told a 911 dispatcher her husband was hallucinating and was getting a gun after eating pot candy.

Kirk initially pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder but right before he was about to go on trial in 2015, he changed his plea to not guilty by reason of insanity, claiming that he was intoxicated with THC, marijuana's psychoactive ingredient.

He agreed to plead guilty to second-degree murder in a deal with prosecutors in February, avoiding a potential life sentence that could have come with a conviction on the more serious charge.

Financial problems

Prosecutor Helen Morgan said after the hearing that Kirk's use of marijuana played a role in deciding to broker a plea deal.

"There were a myriad of factors that went into it, but it was certainly one of them. One of many," she said.

Kirk's attorneys sought lenience on the grounds that he had consumed THC to relieve back pain and it had severely impaired his judgment. They also argued he suffered "involuntary intoxication" because he did not know he was at high risk for marijuana psychosis due to schizophrenia in his extended family.

According to investigators, the couple had escalating marital and financial problems and Kristine Kirk had told a friend she was afraid of her husband because they had been fighting so much - a conclusion disputed by defence attorneys.

Read more on:    us  |  narcotics

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