Father, son charged with relative’s murder

A father and son from the Northeast have been accused of murder for allegedly using prescription pills to kill the brother of the older suspect so they could collect on life insurance policies in the victim’s name.

District Attorney Seth Williams said last Thursday that an investigating grand jury recommended the charges against Edward R. Kirby and Edward A. Kirby for the Jan. 23, 2014, death of George Kirby in Frankford.

George Kirby, 64, died of methadone intoxication and had been suffering from chronic illnesses including obstructive pulmonary disease, a heart condition and pain. He also had a history of drug abuse, Williams’ office said. At the time, he was living with his 84-year-old caretaker aunt on the 4300 block of Penn St.

Authorities claim that Edward R. Kirby, 59, and Edward A. Kelly, 34, whose home addresses were not disclosed, conspired to pose as George Kirby and obtain numerous insurance policies in his name valued at more than $100,000 combined. The defendants then supplied George Kirby with prescription pain pills, which the victim had been using in large doses and to which he had built up a tolerance.

Prior to George Kirby’s death, his own son Nicholas allegedly overheard a conversation between Edward R. and Edward A. in which they discussed how the older defendant might kill George. Edward A. suggested that his father use a pillow to smother George.

Nicholas Kirby notified a police officer friend of the suspected plot. He also tried to warn his father, but George died about a month later. After that, Nicholas Kirby again contacted police, who opened an investigation into the death.

Edward R. and Edward A. Kirby are charged with murder, conspiracy, drug offenses and dozens of counts of forgery, fraud and theft. They were denied bail and remain in prison awaiting a March 30 preliminary hearing. ••