The detention hearing for Kouri Richins, who was supposed to appear in court for the first time since her case earlier this month became the latest true crime sensation, was postponed due to the additional allegations, which were previously mentioned in search warrants but not the charging documents. The hearing will now take place on June 12.
Kouri Richins, 33, allegedly poisoned her husband Eric Richins, 39, in March 2022 by adding five times the fatal amount of fentanyl to a cocktail she mixed for him. The mother of three subsequently self-published a children’s book titled “Are You with Me?” about a deceased father caring after his sons while wearing angel wings. She advertised it on radio and television, offering the book as a means to aid kids in their bereavement.
Kouri Richins allegedly purchased four life insurance policies on her husband’s life without his knowledge from 2015 to 2017 with payouts reaching roughly $2 million, according to the latest version of the documents filed by the prosecution on Thursday.
Although Eric Richins’ discovery of the modifications is not specified in the records, it is stated that he met with an estate planner and divorce lawyer in October 2020, one month after learning his wife had made numerous other significant financial decisions without his awareness.
According to the documents, the prosecution claims that Eric Richins learned that his wife had withdrew $100,000 from his bank accounts, taken out a $250,000 home equity line of credit, and squandered it, as well as spent more than $30,000 using his credit cards. Additionally, according to the records, Kouri Richins took from her husband’s company roughly $134,000 intended for tax payments.
When her husband confronted her, she confessed and promised to pay him back.
Investigators’ interviews with family members revealed that Eric Richins was trying to get divorced from Kouri Richins and had recently updated his will and life insurance policy.
The year-long investigation that authorities conducted prior to Kouri Richins’ arrest this month is detailed in earlier charging documents and warrants. The documents also contain conversations with an unknown informant who claims to have sold fentanyl and hydrocodone to Richins in the weeks and months leading up to her husband’s passing.
Real estate agent Richins informed the drug dealer that both medications were prescribed for a back-painful investor. Before Valentine’s Day, when prosecutors claim she slipped drugs into Eric Richins’ sandwich, the dealer said Richins bought the hydrocodone from him.
When he eventually recovered, his wife requested more pills, namely “some of the Michael Jackson stuff,” the drug dealer told the police. Medical examiners discovered prescription medicines and potent anaesthetics in Jackson’s system, not fentanyl, when he passed away from cardiac arrest in 2009.
Attorney Skye Lazaro for Kouri Richins has declined to respond to the accusations.
The case has drawn attention to the sleepy towns in Utah’s Wasatch Mountains, which are swiftly changing from rural areas with a focus on agriculture to upscale bedroom communities where first- and second-time homebuyers like the Richinses can take advantage of convenient access to skiing, hiking trails, and the alpine lakes of the nearby Uinta Mountains. About 50 miles (80 kilometres) east of Salt Lake City, near the town of Francis, the Richinses resided in a brand-new subdivision.
Eric Richins came from a large, prominent local family, whose members were involved in local politics and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. According to a former coworker who spoke to KUTV, he first got to know Kouri Richins while she was an employee at the neighbourhood Home Depot, where he frequently made purchases.
When Eric was on vacation in Greece a few years earlier, his family told detectives that he had expressed concerns that his wife had previously tried to poison him. They also voiced concerns about Kouri Richins’ unfinished neighbouring mansion in Midway, Utah, which he bought in the hopes of selling it quickly, as well as marital disputes brought on by alterations to his will.
An unfinished 20,000 square foot (1,860 square meter) manor with eight bedrooms and an indoor volleyball court is being advertised for sale in a video, and the individual who claims to have sold Kouri Richins the fentanyl told detectives she had left the tablets there.
One of the many unanswered concerns concerning motive that will probably come up if Richins’ case goes to trial is the basis for it: marital disagreements about the house. Since Eric Richins’ passing, his heirs have struggled with his wife over his estate, arguing about how to divide a masonry company with his former partner and who is entitled to a trust fund set up for his heirs.
While their mother is awaiting prosecution, Richins’ three children are residing with an undisclosed relative, according to Greg Skordas, an attorney and victims’ advocate working with Eric Richins’ family. Eric Richins’ sister Katie Richins-Benson, who is also the executor of his estate, applied for guardianship of the kids.
After Eric Richins’ death, civil court documents produced in several instances show how what lawyers refer to as “the suspicious circumstances” surrounding his death have been going about for a while. Questions regarding his riches and a trust-held estate run by his sister have been entwined with the murder accusations. The documents reveal that Kouri Richins had been at odds with her deceased husband’s family members ever since the day of his passing.
Documents show that Kouri Richins and her sister-in-law argued at the family home the day after Eric Richins passed away. Later, Kouri Richins sued for more than $3.6 million and to have Katie Richins-Benson removed from her position as trustee, claiming that a prenuptial agreement she and her husband signed gave her the right to his assets in the event that he passed away before they got divorced.
People convicted of homicide are not allowed to make money off of their crimes in Utah.