DENVER (CBS4) – A man accused of shooting his wife in the head in their Denver home while their children were home has been charged with first-degree murder.
Police say Richard Kirk, 47, shot his wife, Kristine, while their three young boys were inside the home.
Kristine Kirk had been on the phone with a 911 operator at the time and said her husband was hallucinating.
Kirk’s status and preliminary hearings are set for June 12. He appeared in court on Monday shackled at the hands and feet and didn’t say much, but nodded and acknowledged his brother who was his only family in court.
Kirk’s brother told CBS4 he was in court to support his brother but didn’t say anything else as he says he has been advised not to speak with media.
CBS4 legal analyst Karen Steinhauser expects that Kirk’s mental state the night of the shooting will play a major role in his defense. She says if his lawyers successfully argue that Kirk was involuntarily intoxicated because of marijuana edibles or prescription painkillers, he could be charged with a lesser offense of second-degree murder.
If he is found not guilty by involuntary intoxication, he could be a free man.
Kirk’s sister has said she believes that the combination of marijuana and pills pushed him over the edge and that he loved his family.
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