Utah Author of Children’s Book Accused of Murdering Her Husband, Throwing Party Next Day Denied Bail

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Jun. 12 2023, Published 3:31 p.m. ET

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A Utah author of a children's book that deals with the loss of a parent accused of murdering her husband, who was the father of their three children, has been denied bail.

A judge made the determination on June 12, ruling Kouri Richins posed a "substantial danger" not only to herself but also to family and the community at large, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

On March 4, 2022, Eric Richins was found dead with five times the lethal dosage of fentanyl in his body, The Guardian reported. His wife, 33-year-old Kouri Richins, allegedly poisoned Eric with a lethal dose of fentanyl slipped into a drink, police said.

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On May 8, Kouri was arrested at her home in Kamas and charged with one first-degree felony count of aggravated murder and three second-degree felony counts of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, according to authorities.

Court records show Eric told friends and family before he died that he thought 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. He broke out in hives and was having trouble breathing until he used his son’s EpiPen and took Benadryl, KPCW reported.

Police believe Kouri allegedly bought $900 worth of fentanyl pills before the Valentine’s Day dinner and then bought $900 more in pills before Eric’s death, The Guardian reported.

Eric had a feeling something was going on, as he warned his family if “anything happened to him, she was to blame,” KPCW reported.

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According to investigators, the couple allegedly argued over buying a $2 million home. Kouri wanted to remodel it, but Eric thought it was too expensive.

The Guardian reported that in January 2022, Kouri allegedly tried to change a life insurance policy that Eric had with his business partner, Cody Wright, but was unsuccessful in trying to make herself her husband’s beneficiary,

Husband Killed

During this time, Eric removed Kouri from his will and replaced her with his sister, but he never told his wife he was doing so, officials said.

On March 5, 2022, Kouri ended up closing on the house, one day after Eric’s death. She threw “a large party at her home where she was drinking and celebrating,” authorities said.

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On the night Eric died, Kouri talked to police and told them they were celebrating the purchase of the home, even though, officials said, Eric previously told his family they wouldn't be buying it.

Kouri claimed she and Eric took a shot of alcohol and consumed a THC gummy. She then alleged she fell asleep in their son's bedroom because he was experiencing night terrors. Around 3 a.m., she said she went back to her bedroom and found Eric, who was cold to the touch and not breathing, according to The Guardian.

In a June 9 filing, Summit County prosecutors wrote, “Poisoning is a disturbingly calculated murder method and money an ever-present murder motive."

On March 5, 2023, Kouri published a book titled “Are You With Me?,” which she said she wrote "to create peace and comfort for children who have lost a loved one."

On April 12, she appeared on KPCW to promote the book, saying, “It’s been a long, long year, a difficult year, and writing this book has brought peace to me and my boys.”


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