A Woman Accused Of Poisoning Her Husband Is Set To Appear In Court in Utah

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PARK CITY, Utah (AP) — A Utah woman who authored a children’s book on coping with loss after her husband died and was later accused of poisoning him is due to appear in court Monday to determine whether she should be held or be allowed to post bail.

A woman accused of poisoning her husband will appear in court. (Photo: Getty Images)

Kouri Richins, 33, has been charged with first-degree murder and cocaine possession.

According to court filings, she inserted five times the deadly quantity of fentanyl into a Moscow mule cocktail she poured for her husband, Eric Richins, during marital arguments and fights over a multimillion-dollar property she eventually acquired as an investment.

The mother of three sons self-published an illustrated book about an angelic father who guards his sons.

When charges were filed last month, the story became a true-crime obsession, forcing people to pore over the children’s book and scrutinize remarks she made while advertising it as a tool to help children grieve the loss of a loved one.

Prosecutors have created a picture of a devious lady who tried to kill her husband weeks earlier by lacing a Valentine’s Day sandwich with hydrocodone and denied her involvement on the day of his death in March 2022, even telling police, “My husband is active.” He doesn’t merely pass away in his sleep. This is completely ridiculous.”

Kouri Richins’ attorneys said in a motion for her release filed on Friday that the evidence against her is circumstantial because the police never retrieved fentanyl from the family home. They also questioned the integrity of crucial witnesses who were supposed to back up the prosecutors’ motion to keep her in detention.

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Prosecutors, according to the attorneys, “simply accepted” Eric Richins’ family’s narrative that his wife poisoned him “and worked backward in an effort to support it” by spending 14 months investigating and finding no evidence to support their claim.

The case has also brought attention to Kamas, Utah, an agricultural town on the backside of Utah’s Wasatch Mountains near Park City, one of the preeminent destinations for skiing, hiking, and outdoor recreation in the American West. The couple and their three sons lived in a new development in Francis, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) east of Salt Lake City.

If the case goes to trial, prosecutors believe an anonymous informant sold Richins the pills that medical examiners later discovered in her husband’s system.

In the weeks and months leading up to her husband’s death, the informant sold Richins hydrocodone and fentanyl, according to the documents and warrants. Prosecutors claim that the cocaine transaction chronology correlates with Eric Richins’ death and that his wife laced the sandwich weeks before.

According to authorities, after her husband survived the initially alleged poisoning, Kouri Richins requested heavier narcotics, “some of the Michael Jackson stuff,” from the dealer. Medical examiners discovered prescription medications and potent anesthetics in the pop star’s system after he died of cardiac arrest in 2009.

According to the charging paperwork, the case would most likely concentrate on financial and marital conflicts as possible causes. Prior to his death, the couple clashed over whether to buy an unfinished 20,000-square-foot (1,860-square-meter) estate nearby and considered divorce, according to court records.

Prosecutors also claim that before her husband’s death, Kouri Richins made significant adjustments to the family’s estate arrangements, purchasing life insurance policies on him with benefits totaling roughly $2 million.

Richins is also accused of taking out and spending a $250,000 home equity line of credit, withdrawing $100,000 from her husband’s bank accounts, spending more than $30,000 on his credit cards, and stealing around $134,000 destined for taxes for his enterprises.

Some of the allegations are similar to civil court filings made after Eric Richins’ death in which his blood relatives and widowed wife filed competing claims over how to divide a masonry business with his former partner and whether Kouri Richins can benefit from a trust established for his next of kin.

Greg Skordas, an attorney and victims’ advocate who works with Eric Richins’ relatives, said Richins’ three children are staying with a relative while their mother is on trial. Katie Richins-Benson, Eric Richins’ sister and the trustee of his estate, has applied for guardianship.

The Associated Press 2023. All intellectual property rights are reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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