Woman Who Wrote a Book on Grief After Husband Died Now Charged With His Murder

After her husband died in 2022, Kouri Richins wrote a children’s book about grief. Prosecutors now say that she murdered him.

Richins is accused of giving her husband a fatal overdose of fentanyl on March 3 or 4, 2022. She’s accused of giving her husband another dose of fentanyl three weeks before that, on Valentine’s Day. 

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Now prosecutors have added additional charges in addition to the original charges of aggravated murder and three counts of drug possession with intent to distribute. She’s additionally charged with attempted aggravated murder, two counts of distribution of a controlled substance, two counts of insurance fraud, and two counts of mortgage fraud.

Richins was a real estate broker and self-proclaimed “house flipper” when she ended up with at least $1.8 million in debts. She allegedly killed her husband for the $2 million in insurance policies he carried.

Following Eric Richins’s death, Kouri Richins wrote a children’s picture book on grief.

Associated Press: 

The charges — which are based on officers’ interactions with Richins that night and the account of an “unnamed acquaintance” who claims to have sold her the fentanyl — come two months after Richins appeared on local television to promote “Are you with me?” a picture book she wrote to help children cope after the death of a loved one.

For a segment entitled “Good Things Utah,” Richins called her husband’s death unexpected and described how it sent her and her three boys reeling. For children, she said, grieving was about “making sure that their spirit is always alive in your home.”

“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.

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Eric Richins wasn’t blind to his wife’s desire to kill him. He confided in friends that he believed his wife wanted him dead. The Valentine’s Day attempt on his life almost succeeded.

KSL:

Eric Richins told another friend over the phone, “You almost lost me.”

He told the friend his wife had left him a note and a sandwich in his truck, and that he broke out in hives after eating one bite and then used his son’s EpiPen and drank a bottle of Benadryl before going to sleep. Eric Richins did not have any food allergies, and opioids — including fentanyl — can cause allergic reactions such as hives, the court documents say.

The friend “could hear the fear in Eric Richins’ voice and tell that Eric Richins was scared,” according to the charges.

Not scared enough to leave his wife. 

Kouri Richins had someone court documents referred to as a “paramour.” On the night of her husband’s murder, she received a text from the “paramour” with a picture of two people kissing. She texted back, “love you,” followed by a kissing emoji.

In the law, a “paramour” refers to a sexual partner of a spouse, not necessarily a love interest.

Is there another side to this story? People Magazine interviewed a friend of Kouri who sees things differently.

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In previous interviews with Kouri’s family members and close friends, those closest to her have claimed to PEOPLE that Kouri is being set up by the county sheriff’s office, that Eric was the one who cheated on her and that she was too in love with her husband to ever kill him. 

“There is nothing in the document that affects Kouri’s approach to defending whatever charges the State levies against her,” Kouri’s lawyer, Skye Lazaro, said in a statement to PEOPLE Tuesday. “She continues to maintain her innocence.”

With small-town dramas like this, anything is possible.

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