A Utah woman who recently published a children’s book on losing a parent has been charged with murdering her husband, the father of her three children.
Kouri Richins, 33, of Kamas, Utah, a town outside Salt Lake City, allegedly poisoned her husband, Eric Richins, with a lethal dose of fentanyl slipped into a drink, according to authorities. Eric had five times the lethal dosage of fentanyl in his body when he died on 4 March 2022, of an overdose he had no idea he’d been given.
Kouri was arrested Monday at her home on counts of murder as well as possession a controlled substance with the intent to distribute it. She could face life imprisonment or the death penalty if eventually convicted of murder.
Court records show that Eric had told friends and family before his death that he believed his wife was trying to poison him. On Valentine’s Day a few weeks before his death, Eric became violently ill after having dinner with Kouri, breaking out in hives and having trouble breathing until he used his son’s EpiPen and took Benadryl.
Kouri allegedly bought $900 worth of fentanyl pills before this dinner, and she would later buy $900 more in pills before Eric’s death.
Eric warned his family that if anything happened to him, she was to blame.
Warrants obtained by investigators on the case allege that the couple had argued over purchasing a $2m home that Kouri wanted to remodel but Eric thought was too expensive. In January 2022, she tried to change a life insurance policy that Eric had with his business partner, Cody Wright, who helped him run a stone masonry business.
Kouri unsuccessfully tried to remove Wright from the policy and make herself her husband’s beneficiary. Eric went on to remove Kouri from his will and replaced her with his sister, though he did not inform his wife that he was doing so.
Kouri ended up closing on the home on 5 March 2022, a day after Eric’s death, and threw “a large party at her home where she was drinking and celebrating”.
The night of Eric’s death, Kouri told law enforcement officials that they were celebrating the purchase of the home, though her husband had told family members they would not be buying it. She said that she and Eric had taken a shot of alcohol and consumed a THC gummy. She told officers her son was experiencing night terrors, and she fell asleep in his bedroom. When she returned to the room she shared with Eric around 3am, he was cold to the touch and not breathing.
On 5 March 2023, almost exactly a year after Eric’s death, Kouri published a book titled Are You With Me? which, according to the book’s description, “is written to create peace and comfort for children who have lost a loved one”.
Kouri was scheduled to appear in court May 19th, for her state charges.