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Indiana Woman Sentenced In Conspiracy To Kill Husband With Poisonous Mushrooms
Katrina Fouts was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder and failure to report human remains in the death of her husband, David Fouts. Her friend, former police officer Terry Hopkins, had also been charged but died two months before his trial.
An Indiana woman was sentenced on Wednesday to more than 30 years in prison in connection with the death of her husband.
Katrina Fouts, 56, was sentenced to 34 years on charges of conspiracy to commit murder for the death of David Michael Fouts, according to The Indianapolis Star. David Fouts was found dead in a Noblesville ditch by a dog walker on April 24, 2020, three days after he disappeared, as previously reported by Oxygen.com.
In addition to the 34-year sentence — minus 772 days credit for time served — Katrina Fouts was also sentenced to one year imprisonment (with 183 days credit) for failure to report human remains, according to Indianapolis CBS 4.
No outward signs of trauma could explain how the 50-year-old tech consultant died, initially puzzling investigators with the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office. The victim was barefoot, and his pants pockets were pulled inside out. Authorities then discovered duct tape residue around the victim’s wrists and ankles.
Detectives investigated David’s death as a homicide when they determined he was not killed where he was found, according to the Star. Superficial abrasions on his feet suggested he was dragged to the location.
But it was an examination of Katrina Fouts' internet search history that led authorities to charge her with murder in September 2020. Katrina — who failed to report her husband’s disappearance — searched “Indiana homicide laws,” “crime of passion law in Indiana,” and “how to pass a lie detector test” on her phone, according to the Star.
She also had screenshots on her phone with information pertaining to poisonous mushrooms, according to CBS 4.
A postmortem examination did, in fact, determine David had chunks of the poisonous mushroom “leucocybe connatum” in his stomach. However, it couldn’t be determined if that accounted for the exact cause of death.
“There was a poisonous agent in his stomach that, if untreated, will produce death,” Coroner John Chaplain told the Star.
A spokesman for the county coroner’s office previously told Oxygen.com that the official manner of death was “homicide by unspecified means.”
Authorities said they conducted several interviews with Katrina Fouts before she eventually admitted to having a role in David Fouts’ death, but a probable cause affidavit obtained by the Star did not detail how she said her husband was killed.
Authorities also noted Katrina Fouts never tried calling her husband after he disappeared.
Her life-long friend, Terry Hopkins, was also charged in connection with David’s death but passed away in February, two months before his scheduled trial date.
Hopkins was a retired police officer from the Richmond Police Department and allegedly purchased several suspicious items at Richmond’s Harbor Freight Tools before David Fouts' death, according to the affidavit, including microfiber cleaning cloths, duct tape, and cleaning gloves.
One day before the discovery of David’s body, Hopkins also allegedly bought blue tarps, a 6,400-pound lifting sling, a 500-pound hydraulic life and white zip ties.
Both Hopkins and Katrina Fouts were charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder and failure to report a corpse, according to the sheriff’s office. Fouts was also charged with a single count of providing false information.
In March, a Hamilton County jury found Katrina Fourts not guilty on charges of murder, according to the prosecuting attorney. They instead convicted her on the lesser charges of conspiracy to commit murder and failing to report human remains.
On Wednesday, Hamilton County Judge William Hughes ordered both her sentences be served concurrently.