Did Kouri Richins Utah author kill her husband? Mom of three accused of poisoning husband with fentanyl, two months after release of book she wrote dealing with the loss of a loved one.
A Utah mother of three who wrote a children’s book to help her son’s deal with their their father’s ‘sudden’ death, has been charged with his murder.
Kouri Richins who was arrested on Monday is accused of poisoning her husband, Eric Richins, with fentanyl at their home in Kamas, a small mountain town near Park City.
A medical examiner said they found five times the lethal dose of fentanyl – a painkiller 100 times stronger than morphine – in Eric’s system after he died on March 4 last year.
‘warned them that if anything happened to him, she was to blame,’
Richins allegedly told police she had made Eric a vodka cocktail and a THC gummy to celebrate him selling a home and then went to soothe one of their three children to sleep in their bedroom. She later returned at 3am and found him ‘cold to touch’ and lying on the foot of their bed before calling 911.
Following his death, Richins wrote ‘Are you with me?’ – a picture book to help children cope with the death of a loved one. But two months after she appeared on a local television station to promote the book, Richins has been charged with Eric’s murder.
Eric’s family told investigators shortly after he died they suspected Richins had killed the father-of-three. He had ‘warned them that if anything happened to him, she was to blame,’ according to search warrants seen by KPCW.
Meanwhile, Richins had told police she had performed CPR on Eric after finding him unresponsive in their home, but fire crew and medics who responded to the scene said this was unlikely as there was blood coming from his mouth.
And in the years before his death, his family have claimed Eric believed Richins was trying to kill him. There were two occasions when Eric became violently ill after having drinks or dinner with his wife.
One of Eric’s two sisters told police he had called her three years ago from Greece where he and Richins were on vacation together. He claimed Richins had given him a drink that made him violently ill and said he believed she had tried to kill him.
And in January 2022, Richins changed Eric’s joint life insurance policy, which he shared with his business partner Cody Wright, so that she was the only beneficiary, a warrant states.
When the insurance company told the partners, who own the business C&E Stone Masonry, of the change, they were able to change it back.
After finding out that Richins had tried to change his life insurance policy, Eric changed the beneficiary of his will and his power of attorney to his sister without telling his wife because he was scared she might ‘kill him for the money’, a warrant states.
$1800 worth of fentanyl pills
But a month later, court documents show that on Valentine’s Day last year, Eric suffered an allergic reaction following a meal with Richins. He could not breathe and passed out after using an EpiPen and taking Benadryl.
Court documents say Richins had bought $900 worth of fentanyl pills from an acquaintance before the Valentine’s Day meal and two weeks later she asked for $900 more. Days later, Eric died of an overdose.
Following Eric’s death, Richins had claimed he had an addiction to pain medicine in high school but there was no substance abuse issues since.
But friends and family told police said they hadn’t any idea of Eric being addicted to any form of medicine, and officers did not find any pain killers in the family home.
Also charged over possession of GHB
In addition to the murder charge, Richins also faces charges involving the alleged possession of GHB – a narcolepsy drug frequently used in recreational settings, including at dance clubs.
The charges are based on officers’ interactions with Richins that night and the account of an ‘unnamed acquaintance’ who claims to have sold her the fentanyl.
Two months ago, Richins promoted her children’s book on local TV and told a segment called ‘Good Things Utah’ that she had written it to help her three boys deal with the grief of losing their father.
She called her husband’s death unexpected and described how it sent her and her three boys reeling.
‘It’s — you know — explaining to my kid just because he’s not present here with us physically, doesn’t mean his presence isn’t here with us,’ she told the anchors, who commended her for being an amazing mother.
Richins’ attorney, Skye Lazaro, has to date declined to respond to media overture for comment.