Kouri Richins, a Utah woman accused of killing her husband with fentanyl and then writing a children’s book about dealing with grief, is now accused of witness tampering. Kouri Richins was accused of poisoning her husband, Eric Richins, with cocktails laced with five times the amount of lethal Fentanyl, in the couple’s home last year.
Following a year-long investigation, police determined that the victim died of a fentanyl overdose administered by his wife and arrested Kouri Richins on May 8, 2023.
In a recent hearing, a lead detective testified that at the time, Kouri Richins told officers that hours before finding her husband unresponsive at the foot of their bed, she had made him a drink to celebrate closing a sale of a house they had recently flipped. However, the police never tested the glass for traces of fentanyl.
Meanwhile, during their investigations authorities reportedly discovered that the Utah soccer mom of three had procured multiple controlled substances from an unidentified person with whom she had constant contact in the months leading up to her husband’s death. However, the defense contends that her late husband was addicted to drugs and obtained fentanyl while he was in Mexico.
Prosecutors have now alleged that to establish the defense argument, Kouri, who is currently behind bars at Summit County Jail, is “engaging in witness tampering.”
Prosecutors claimed that they found a letter in Richin’s cell that directed her mother to tell her brother, Ronney Darden, “to testify or inform falsely.” In the letter obtained by PEOPLE, the Utah mom reportedly asks her brother to say that a year before her husband’s death, he had confided in his pain pill and fentanyl addiction to her brother.
Furthermore, she allegedly asked her brother to claim that Eric Richins procured the drugs from the family’s ranch hands. She also instructed her brother to say that her husband told him as follows: “not to tell me because I would get mad because I always said he just gets high every night and won’t help take care of the kids.”
Kouri Richins’ net worth is estimated to be around $1M to $4M
In May 2023, Kouri Richins, the author who penned the book titled, Are You with Me?, was charged with criminal homicide/aggravated murder and three counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute after authorities discovered that the writer’s husband had died of a fentanyl overdose.
Kouri Richins is a real estate agent from Park City, Utah, who amassed a small fortune by flipping houses alongside her late husband. In addition, her late husband’s estate was estimated to be worth around a couple of millions. However, it is currently tied up in litigation.
She also sold thousands of copies of her book Are You with Me? penned after her husband’s death. Per multiple reports, Richins’ fortune can be estimated between $1M to $4M.
While the motive for the murder is unclear, prosecutors intimated that her husband’s wealth may have played a role in the killing. Richins’ husband reportedly died a day before she closed a $2 million deal to buy a 22,000-square-foot home. Authorities said that Eric was against the deal and had refused to pay for the home.
According to the New York Post, Kouri is also suing Eric’s estate, from which she is seeking half the equity in the couple’s home, which is estimated to be worth “at least $1.9 million.
What we know about Eric Richins murder
Kouri Richins was accused of trying to kill her husband a few times before succeeding on March 5, 2022. As previously reported, authorities said that Richins had tried to unsuccessfully poison her husband on Valentine’s Day 2022, before he was found dead on March 5. Her spouse had reportedly confided the suspicions about his wife to a friend.
During further investigations, police reportedly discovered Kouri Richins texted a person sometime between December 2021 and February 2022 to ask for some prescription pain medication in the guise of procuring it for an investor, who had a back injury. Weeks after she obtained the pain medication, Kouri reportedly asked the dealer for something stronger and was provided with $900 worth of fentanyl.
Court documents stated that three days after procuring the fentanyl, the couple reportedly had Valentine’s dinner on February 14, when Eric became extremely ill and told his friend he suspected his wife was trying to poison him.
Shortly after the unsuccessful attempt, the Utah author reportedly asked her dealer for more fentanyl, and days later Eric was found dead of a fentanyl overdose.