Utah Mother Accused of Murdering Husband Who Inspired Her Children's Book About Grief

Kouri Richins has been charged with aggravated murder and possession of a controlled substance in connection to the 2022 death of her husband Eric.

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A Utah woman is accused of murdering her husband of nine years, who was the inspiration behind her children’s book about dealing with grief following the death of a loved one. 

Kouri Richins, 33, was arrested Monday and charged with aggravated murder, as well as three counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, as reported by CNN. She told investigators at the time of her husband Eric’s death that she discovered his body in their bedroom in March 2022 around 3 a.m. after she returned from their son’s room, where she had fallen asleep. 

It was determined that Eric died of a fentanyl overdose after five times the lethal dosage was found in his system. Investigators obtained Kouri Richins’ phone and allege she was communicating with a person identified as C.L., who had drug-related offenses on their record. 

Following previous exchanges involving prescription pain pills and hydrocodone, Kouri asked for “some of the Michael Jackson stuff,” and picked up “15-30 fentanyl pills” from C.L.’s home around Feb. 11. Court documents say the couple was celebrating Valentine’s Day with dinner at home when “Eric became very ill. … Eric told a friend that he thought his wife was trying to poison him.” 

Kouri allegedly bought more fentanyl pills from C.L., which were left at an outdoor fire pit in a home that she had been trying to flip. On March 3, 2022, Richins wanted to celebrate closing on a house for her business, so she “made Eric a Moscow Mule in the kitchen and brought it to their bedroom where Eric consumed it while sitting in bed,” according to a probable cause statement obtained by ABC News.

Kouri then went to sleep in the bedroom of one of their children, who had been having a night terror. When she returned, Eric was “cold to the touch.” Richins claimed she had performed CPR on her husband, but first responders said “it had not appeared that she had done any CPR, due to the large amount of blood that came from Eric’s mouth.” 

Richins also claimed she never used her phone between the time she went to bed and called 911. However, court docs indicate she not only unlocked her device several times during that period, she also sent, received, and deleted text messages. 

The search warrant alleges Eric Richins removed Kouri from his will and sought a divorce, prior to his death. 

Kouri appeared on Good Things Utah last month to promote Are You With Me?, which she wrote after Eric’s passing “completely took us all by shock.” The book is dedicated to “my amazing husband and a wonderful father.”

She’s scheduled to appear in court on May 19.

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