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Mum-of-3 Charged with Murdering Husband After Profiting From His Death

Children’s book author and Utah mum-of-3 has been charged with murder after poisoning her husband, leading to his death, using an ‘illicit’ dose of fentanyl.

The once beloved author and mum-of-3 allegedly spiked her husband’s drink in the couple’s home near Park City, Utah, on March 4, 2022, before calling emergency services, saying he was ‘cold to the touch’.

Kouri Richins charged with murder, after poisoning her husband

Kouri admitted that she made her husband an alcoholic drink that day to celebrate the sale of a home as part of her business, then went to check on her three children and fell asleep in one of their beds. Once she woke and went to the couple’s bedroom, she said she found her husband unresponsive.

According to the Associated Press, Kouri’s husband Eric Richins was found by the medical examiner to have five times the lethal amount of fentanyl in his system at the time of his death.

“One or two pills might be accidental. Twenty — or five times the lethal dose — is not accidental. That is someone who wants Eric dead,” Summit County Chief Prosecutor Patricia Cassell told CBS News. 

It was alleged Kouri obtained the fentanyl opioid from her housekeeper, but it is unclear if it was the lethal dose that killed her husband.

Unusual activity before and after Eric Richins’ death

This wasn’t the only unusual thing about this case. Before Eric’s death, it was said that there were at least four secret life insurance policies in his name totalling almost US$2 million, stolen money from Eric’s accounts and even the hiring of a private investigator to dig into a case of spiked drink poisoning, which had resulted in death.

Eric himself had suspected Kouri Richins was trying to poison him multiple times. He had warned his family mere months before his death that she was to blame if anything happened to him, according to affidavits obtained from the Summit County Sheriff’s Office.

A drink she had given him on a holiday in Greece and a sandwich made for him by Kouri on Valentine’s Day both had made him quite ill, making him suspect Kouri was trying to kill him. He had consulted both a divorce lawyer and an estate planning lawyer before his death, placing his estate in the control of his sister, Katie Richins-Benson.

Kouri’s ongoing money troubles

Kouri allegedly owed more than US$1 million at the time of her husband’s passing. Only days after his death, Kouri allegedly had a locksmith drill into her husband’s safe, which contained over US$125,000 in cash, according to court documents. When asked by Eric’s sister, Katie, to leave the safe alone, it was alleged Kouri punched her in the face and neck. It was then that Kouri was informed that Eric had created a living trust.

Kouri and Katie had been in a lengthy legal battle over the trust and estate since Eric’s death. Katie even hired a private investigator to surveil Kouri and dig into the details of her brother’s death.

A year after her husband’s death, Kouri wrote a book for children about coping with grief, titled ‘Are You With Me?‘ and dedicated it to “my amazing husband and wonderful father”. Kouri said she wrote it after she saw how her children struggled with their father’s death. She heavily promoted it on TV stations in the US, including major networks, before being convicted of her husband’s death. The 41-page children’s book is no longer available for purchase.

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Avatar of Kylie Baracz

As a busy writer and mama of two little wildlings, Kylie knows what it's like to juggle All The Things. When she's not politely ushering out small children from her Zoom calls, her favourite place is snuggled on the couch with her family and a (probably lukewarm!) cuppa.

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