During a formal arraignment Thursday, Sept. 5 for Shane Josiah Kirk, a man accused of killing his step-father and his wife in 2017, the defendant entered a plea of not guilty.
Kirk faces charges of two counts of murder in the first degree with deliberate intent for the alleged shooting death of his wife, Jessica Kirk, and his step-father, Dennis Duncan. If he is found guilty in the double homicide, he could face the death penalty.
Stephens County District Attorney Jason Hicks filed a Bill of Particulars Aug. 2, 2019, stating Kirk should be punished by death because he “knowingly created a great risk of death to more than one person” and the murders of Jessica Kirk and Dennis Duncan were “especially heinous, atrocious or cruel.”
Original police reports show the first call came into dispatch around 6:45 p.m. Nov. 29, 2017, from a male who advised his wife and step-father were dead. A second call came in at the same time from a woman advising she needed an ambulance and her son had just shot her husband. It was later determined Kirk was the first caller and his mother was the second caller.
Authorities working the scene in the 1400 block of Mimosa later identified Duncan as apparently dead with bullet wounds. Jessica Kirk was found in the residence apparently dead with bullet wounds and a gun was found next to her body.
Kirk was arrested at the scene. In an interview with investigators, Kirk twice denied shooting or knowing who shot the pair. Authorities told Kirk during the interview his mother saw him holding the gun, and according to court documentation, Kirk told police if his mother said he had shot them, then it was true but he did not remember it. The interview with law enforcement was terminated by Kirk shortly after making this statement, reports show.
Kirk, who was denied bond, admitted in a court of law that at one point he had been treated for mental health issues. Reports from family members on the shooting also indicated Kirk suffered from PTSD and believed he was being poisoned, according to the original affidavit.
In July 2018, Kirk was deemed incompetent to stand trial. That changed in November 2018, when it was ruled Kirk was indeed competent for trial.
Court documents show when Kirk entered his plea of not guilty Thursday, he was scheduled for felony jury trial. Records show Kirk will appear for docket call on March 11, 2020, and felony jury trial is slated for 9 a.m. April 20, 2020.