About a year after her husband’s “unexpected” death, Kouri Richins, 33, appeared on a local TV show to promote her book to help children deal with grief. Now, she’s been charged with her husband’s murder.
Richins, a mother of three from Kamas, Utah, is being accused of poisoning her husband, Eric Richins, with fentanyl that she allegedly mixed into a Moscow mule cocktail, reports ABC 4.
Kouri has been charged with first-degree aggravated murder and three counts of second-degree possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.
According to court documents, the couple was celebrating on March 3 after Kouri had closed on a house for her business. She stated that she made him the cocktail which he drank in bed. After putting their children to bed, she claimed that she fell asleep.
Kouri also claimed that she woke up at around 3 am on March 4 and discovered that her husband was cold to the touch. She then called 911.
Police arrived at 3:20 am and found Eric on the floor at the foot of the bed and was declared dead on the scene, according to KUTV.
During the investigation, police found several inconsistencies in Kouri’s story.
She told police that her phone was charging in her bedroom but records show that it was locked and unlocked several times. She also received and sent several messages that were then deleted.
An autopsy showed that Eric had died from a fentanyl dose that was “five times the lethal dosage” and was ingested orally.
It wasn’t the first time she allegedly tried to poison her husband of almost nine years.
The court document states that on February 11, 2022, Kouri bought fentanyl pills from a friend for US $900.
The couple then had a Valentine’s Day dinner at home but shortly after dinner, Eric “became very ill.”
“Eric believed that he had been poisoned,” reads the statement. “Eric told a friend that he thought his wife was trying to poison him.”
Six days prior to Eric’s death on March 4, Kouri bought more fentanyl pills for US $900.
According to Eric’s sister, he wanted to get a divorce and had allegedly taken Kouri off his will and life insurance. Eric’s sisters have filed for guardianship of their three sons Carter, Ashton, and Weston.
Kouri wrote a children’s book on grief, which was published on the one-year anniversary of Eric’s death.
The description reads, “Are You With Me is written to create peace and comfort for children who have lost a loved one. It’s to reassure children that although your loved one is not present, their presence always exists and they walk through life with you as if they were here.”
The book is no longer available on Amazon.
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