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Crime News Family Crimes

Children's Author Charged in Husband's Murder Denied Bail as Prosecutors Zero in on iPhone Searches

Kouri Richins was denied bail on Monday after a judge ruled there was "substantial evidence" in the case against her for allegedly killing her husband.

By Elisabeth Ford
Wives Who Brutally Killed

New details have emerged in the case of a Utah mom who is charged with killing her husband with poison by lacing his Moscow Mule with fentanyl.

Kouri Richins, 33, who wrote a children’s book about grief after allegedly murdering her husband, Eric Richins, searched the internet for information on life insurance payouts, lethal doses of fentanyl and luxury prisons, prosecutors wrote in a court filing, according to NBC News.

RELATED: Children's Author Accused of Husband's Murder Took Out Millions in Life Insurance on Him Without Him Knowing, Prosecutors Say

At her bail hearing Monday, the judge ruled that Kouri will be held without bail due to “substantial evidence” against her, CNN reported.

The alleged searches also include: “if someone is poisoned what does it go down on the death certificate as," "how to permanently delete information from an iPhone remotely” and “FBI analysis of electronics in an investigation.”

Prosecutors argued that Kouri’s internet searches "indicate a consciousness of guilt and plan to hide evidence" in the alleged murder of her husband, according to NBC News.

A photo of Kouri Richins at KPCW

Kouri — author of the children’s book Are You With Me?, written a year after her husband’s death — was charged last month with one count of first-degree aggravated murder and three counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, court documents detail, according to NBC News.

Eric was pronounced dead at the foot of his bed on March 4, 2022, after deputies responded to a 911 call made by his wife. An autopsy showed that Eric had five times the lethal dosage of fentanyl in his system at the time of his death, according to court documents.

Eric suspected that his wife had previously tried to poison him, NBC News reported. He reportedly warned his family that, if anything were to happen to him, she was to blame.

Court documents state an acquaintance of Kouri, identified as C.L., told investigators that she was contacted by Kouri, who allegedly asked about obtaining prescription pain medication. C.L. allegedly provided Kouri with hydrocodone pills.

The documents allege that Kouri reached back out to C.L. for something stronger, asking for “some of the Michael Jackson stuff,” specifically requesting fentanyl.

C.L. allegedly provided Kouri with $900 worth of the drug, an amount which she purchased on two occasions, the documents allege.

NBC News reported that Eric's family said he never told his wife that he had removed her from his will. The family has also said the couple was arguing about buying a $2 million home Kouri wanted to flip, but her husband believed it was too expensive. Kouri signed the closing papers on the home the day after her husband’s death.  

Prosecutors alleged in court on Monday that Kouri had previously tried to change a life insurance policy to make herself the sole beneficiary without her husband’s knowledge, CNN reported.

RELATED: Utah Woman Arrested In Husband's Murder After Writing Children's Book About Grief

Prosecutors suggested that Kouri’s motive was “dire financial straits,” per The Tribune, suggesting that she killed her husband to get out of debt.

“I never knew evil like this existed,” said Eric’s sister, Amy Richins, in court on Monday, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

Kouri's attorneys said that “there is no evidence identifying the computer from which the login was initiated” when the life insurance policy beneficiary change was attempted.

Defense attorney Skye Lazaro argued that Eric's death was accidental, according to the Tribune.

“Being bad with money does not make you a murderer,” Lazaro said.

The case will pick up on June 22 to determine a preliminary hearing date, according to CNN.

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