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State v. Kirk

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Second Circuit

May 20, 2015

STATE OF LOUISIANA, Appellee
v.
TANYA KIRK, Appellant

Appealed from the Sixth Judicial District Court for the Parish of East Carroll, Louisiana. Trial Court No. 94,392-A. Honorable Michael E. Lancaster, Judge.

LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT, By: Carey J. Ellis, III, Counsel for Appellant.

JAMES E. PAXTON, District Attorney, LAURIE R. BRISTER, MOLLY F. McEACHARN, Assistant District Attorneys, Counsel for Appellee.

Before WILLIAMS, MOORE and PITMAN, JJ.

OPINION

Page 393

[49,819 La.App. 2 Cir. 1] MOORE, J.

Pursuant to a plea agreement, the defendant, Tanya Kirk, pled guilty to principal to manslaughter. In conformity with an agreed-upon sentence, the defendant was sentenced to 40 years at hard labor. The defendant now appeals.

The defendant's appellate counsel filed a motion to withdraw together with an Anders [1] brief alleging that there are no non-frivolous issues upon which to base an appeal. For the reasons stated herein, the motion to withdraw is granted, and the defendant's conviction and sentence are affirmed.

FACTS

On April 2, 2012, Tanya Kirk was charged by grand jury indictment with principal to second degree murder, in violation of La. R.S. 14:24 and 14:30.1. The state alleged that Kirk was a principal in the murder of her husband, Deryl Kirk, on March 2, 2012. Kirk was appointed counsel, waived formal arraignment, and entered a plea of not guilty on May 2, 2012.

On September 11, 2013, the defendant withdrew her former plea of not guilty, pursuant to a plea arrangement with the state. The defendant entered into a plea agreement with the state, whereby she would plead guilty to the amended charge of principal to manslaughter and receive the sentence of 40 years at hard labor.

According to the facts recited by the state and the testimony of the defendant during the guilty plea hearing, on March 3, 2012, the defendant and her boyfriend, Robert Russell, went to her mother's residence in Sondheimer, [49,819 La.App. 2 Cir. 2] Louisiana, to meet her husband, Deryl Kirk, from whom she was separated. The purpose of this meeting was for her to visit their five-year-old son, who was in Deryl Kirk's custody. Russell brought a disassembled shotgun inside a duffel bag on the visit. The defendant had talked about wanting her husband, Deryl Kirk, dead, because she knew Deryl Kirk was going to take her son from her. Deryl Kirk was not aware that Russell was with the defendant at the residence. Russell loaded the gun inside the residence before Deryl Kirk arrived. The defendant suggested that Russell hide in the shed in the backyard to wait for Deryl.

Page 394

When Deryl Kirk arrived, Tanya led him to the backyard, along with their son. Russell shot Deryl Kirk from inside the shed with the shotgun, killing him immediately. The defendant and Russell were subsequently arrested and ...


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