A Utah lady who published a book helping children cope with loss has been accused of murdering her husband.
KUTV reports that on March 4, 2022, Kouri Darden Richins, a 33-year-old mother of three from Summit County, was arrested on suspicion of poisoning her husband, Eric Richins, at their house on Willow Court in Kamas.
She is facing charges of first-degree aggravated murder and three counts of second-degree possession with intent to sell, according to authorities.
Eric was found dead at the foot of the bed when police arrived at their home at 3:20 a.m. on the night he passed away.
According to reports shown on KSL-TV, “attempts were made to save Eric’s life, but he was declared dead.”
Kouri reportedly told police that she fed her husband a Moscow Mule in bed after selling a house for her company, complete with vodka.
She told police she eventually slept off with a child who was experiencing a nightmare.
(Kouri) said that she returned to the bedroom she shares with Eric at around 3 a.m. She reached for Eric and felt how icy he was. According to the documents, the defendant then dialed 911.
She told the police that she had forgotten her phone in the bedroom, but the call logs reveal that she had really used it multiple times in the nursery.
The defendant’s phone records also reveal that he was actively texting throughout this period. “These texts were deleted,” KSL-TV said, citing legal documents.
The toxicology report concluded that Eric overdosed on fentanyl and died as a result. The dose he had in his system was five times higher than the lethal one.
According to the documents filed in court, when police searched Kouri’s phone and computer, they discovered several messages between her and a “unnamed acquaintance.”
The acquaintance was interviewed by investigators on May 2 and charged with numerous counts of narcotics possession with intent to sell and other drug-related offenses.
In the filings, it is said that Kouri requested “prescription pain medication for an investor” between December 2021 and February 2022.
She instructed the buddy to leave the medication at the defendant’s for-sale home in Midway, Utah. KSL-TV quotes court documents that state, “(The friend) left the pills at the house, and the defendant left cash for them.”
It seems that the couple had been having difficulties for quite some time prior to Eric’s death. One of his two sisters reportedly told police that he had contacted her from Greece years ago while on vacation with his wife to complain that she had poured him a drink that had made him severely ill. The documents were obtained by the KPCW station of National Public Radio.
According to his sister, Eric first suspected Kouri of attempting to murder him.
Eric’s wife attempted to modify the life insurance policy he and his business partner Cody Wright held in January 2022, but she was unsuccessful.
According to the article, Kouri attempted to make herself the only beneficiary of the policy, but the men were informed by the insurance company of the attempted change.
Then, Eric disinherited Kouri in favor of his sister. Sisters say he hid the news from Kouri because he feared she would “kill him for the money,” which he intended to give to his children.
KUTV cites a probable cause statement which states that during the couple’s Valentine’s Day meal on February 14, 2022, Eric “became very sick.” After injecting Benadryl and using his son’s EpiPen, Eric developed hives, became short of breath, and eventually passed out.
Eric feared he had been poisoned and rushed to the hospital. Eric confided in a friend that he feared his wife was plotting his death.
According to the documents, a friend of Kouri’s informed investigators that Kouri said her alleged investor wanted “something stronger and asked for’some of the Michael Jackson stuff,'” meaning fentanyl.
The acquaintance allegedly acquired 15-30 fentanyl tablets from a dealer in Ogden, Utah on February 26, 2022, and then sold them to Kouri at her house for $900.
Eric’s corpse was discovered a little over a week later.
Kouri closed on a $2 million house she planned to flip the day following his death. She subsequently hosted a huge party at her residence, where she reportedly drank heavily and rejoiced, as evidenced by court documents. Eric felt the price of the house was too high, and he and his partner ultimately decided not to purchase it.
According to the order, Kouri then “attacked” one of Eric’s sisters who had shown up to the residence for the celebration.
After Kouri’s mother passed away, she was inspired to write a children’s book called “Are You With Me?” to assist other children cope with loss.
The book was released on March 5, 2019, nearly a year to the day after Eric’s death.
The book is “written to bring peace and comfort to children who have lost a loved one,” as stated in the product description on Amazon. It’s designed to reassure kids that even if their loved one has passed away, they’ll always be with them in spirit.
In the book’s dedication, Kouri said, “Dedicated to my amazing husband and a wonderful father.”
A death notification revealed that the couple had been married for nine years and had three children.
Eric was about to file for divorce, but he tragically passed away before KPCW could see the documents.
The obituary states, “Eric did everything in his power to give his family as many chances as possible to learn, grow, and have fun.”
The Post has contacted Kouri’s attorney, Skye Lazaro, for comment.