Woman who wrote book on grief following husband’s death accused of his murder

Utah Woman Accused of Poisoning Husband with Fentanyl: A Children’s Author’s Troubling Allegations

In a shocking turn of events, Kouri Richins, a Utah woman who gained attention for publishing a children’s book on processing grief after her husband’s untimely death, now finds herself accused of poisoning him with a lethal dose of fentanyl. Court documents reveal the disturbing details of the case that led to Richins being charged with aggravated murder and possession of drugs with intent to distribute.

The tragic incident unfolded on March 4, 2022, when Eric Richins, Kouri’s husband, was discovered lifeless at the foot of their bed, as stated in the probable cause statement of the charging document. Kouri, during a recent appearance on the “Good Things Utah” segment, described her husband’s death as unexpected. However, prosecutors contend that Eric was fatally poisoned with fentanyl on the night of March 3, 2022, according to the charging document.

As per the probable cause statement, Kouri recounted to the police that she and Eric were celebrating the closing on a house for her business that night. She allegedly prepared a Moscow Mule in the kitchen, brought it to their bedroom, and watched Eric consume it while sitting in bed. Kouri claimed to have fallen asleep with one of their children, who was experiencing a night terror. Upon returning to their bedroom around 3 a.m., she found Eric unresponsive and cold to the touch.

First responders arrived at the scene, but their attempts at resuscitation were hindered by a significant amount of blood coming from Eric’s mouth, casting doubt on Kouri’s alleged CPR efforts, as stated in the affidavit for a search warrant. An autopsy later revealed that Eric had succumbed to a fentanyl overdose, with the level of fentanyl in his system being five times the lethal dosage.

According to the charging document, the medical examiner specified that the fentanyl involved was illicit and likely ingested orally. Detectives subsequently obtained a search warrant for the couple’s residence, seeking electronic evidence related to the case.

Suspicion further mounted as investigators discovered discrepancies in Kouri’s account. She claimed not to have used her phone until dialing 911, but evidence showed that her phone had been locked, unlocked, and used for messaging during that period, with messages subsequently deleted. Additionally, authorities found “several communications” between Kouri and an acquaintance with a history of drug-related offenses.

During an interview with detectives, the acquaintance alleged that Kouri had requested prescription pain medication for an investor with a back injury, and hydrocodone pills were left at a property owned by Kouri for flipping. Later, Kouri supposedly contacted the acquaintance again, seeking “something stronger” and specifically asking for fentanyl, commonly referred to as “the Michael Jackson stuff.” In exchange for $900, the acquaintance procured 15 to 30 fentanyl pills.

Kouri Richins appears on KTVX’s Good Things Utah in April 2023. / Newsnation

The charging document revealed a disturbing sequence of events. Days after ingesting a sandwich purchased by Kouri on Valentine’s Day, Eric fell seriously ill, experiencing hives and difficulty breathing. He suspected that he had been poisoned and confided in a friend about his suspicions. On another occasion, Kouri requested an additional $900 worth of fentanyl pills from the same acquaintance.

The culmination of these events transpired on March 4, 2022, when Eric was found dead from a fentanyl overdose. Alongside the aggravated murder charge, Kouri Richins faces three counts of possession of drugs with intent to distribute.

As the case unfolds, an attorney for Kouri Richins declined to provide comment. Her next hearing is scheduled for May 19. The allegations against this children’s author have sent shockwaves through the community, raising questions about the true nature

Written by Matt

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