By Jill Richardson
Kuna Melba News reporter
Sunday morning Canyon County Sheriff’s office reported the arrest of Nicole Lee Kirtley, 34, currently of Melba, in connection with the homicide of George Richardson Jr., 59, of Nampa.
Kirtley is currently being held at Ada County Jail on charges of second degree murder and grand theft.
Kirtley’s original arrest charged her with first degree murder.
Richardson was discovered to have left a local bar with Kirtley a few hours before he died on the morning of Thursday Feb 7.
The bar camera system depicted on video, from the previous night, Kirtley driving Richardson out of the bar parking lot.
A cab driver told detectives that a female grabbed the keys out of Richardson’s hands before getting into the driver’s seat of Richardson’s Jeep, which was confirmed on video.
A witness later indicated they had observed a woman matching Kirtley’s description leaving Richardson’s residence at approximately 7:30 to 7:45 a.m. in an unknown vehicle.
Just after 2 p.m. Thursday, Richardson was found with multiple gunshot wounds inside his bedroom at his Nampa home on South Powerline Road.
Richardson’s 1997 Jeep Wrangler was also discovered missing from his residence.
On Friday, the day after Richardson’s death, while detectives investigated the homicide, Kirtley appeared in court for sentencing on an unrelated burglary conviction.
Kirtley was sentenced to eight years in prison for the burglary but all was suspended and was recommended to appear at a mental health court later.
Kirtley was also arrested on an outstanding DUI warrant when she appeared in court for the burglary sentencing.
On Saturday, while still in custody, Kirtley was interviewed by detectives about the homicide and when informed of why she was being questioned, Kirtley invoked her right to remain silent.
While waiting in booking, Kirtley began having a conversation with a male inmate being processed for release.
Kirtley then admitted to the inmate that she had been questioned about the homicide and admitted to killing Richardson, saying “she wasn’t going to be raped again,” and did not feel bad about killing the person.
The jeep was also recovered based on a tip from a passerby that reported it being seen about two miles from Kirtley’s home in Melba.
The Richardson’s Jeep had a rock placed on the accelerator and had been partially submerged in the Snake River, apparently in an attempt to conceal it.
Clothing and accessories were found during a search of Kirtley’s home that matched what she was wearing Wednesday night according to the bar video.
“George was a good guy, a heck of a good guy,” said longtime friend Bill Wood of Melba. “It is too bad that some woman did that. He did not have that coming that is for sure.”
Kirtley was in Canyon County custody when she was charged, on Sunday, with Richardson’s murder and grand theft.
The arraignment for second degree murder and grand theft charges was held Monday in Canyon County at 1:30pm.
Kirtley broke into tears as the judge announced a $5,000,000 bond in the case with an additional $35,000 bond for the DUI warrant arrest.
A preliminary hearing was set for 10 a.m. on Feb. 20 at Canyon County Courthouse.
Criminal records of Kirtley’s include two DUI convictions in Canyon County from 2011, pety theft in Nampa from 2007, a 2009 Ada County felony charge of obtaining controlled substance by deception and more recently the burglary conviction.
Kirtley attended Kuna High School as Nicole “Nikki” Lee Williams and has family in the Kuna area.