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Kouri Richins Says Letter Found in Her Cell Isn't Proof of Witness Tampering, But Part of Book She's Writing
“Those papers were not a letter to you guys, they were a part of a freaking book,” Richins allegedly told her mom in a call about a note presented as evidence of alleged witness tampering.
The grief book author who's been charged with her husband's murder — and who was accused of witness tampering in the case last week — says there's a perfectly good excuse for the contents of a letter found in her jail cell that was presented as evidence of the alleged meddling.
Kouri Richins claimed in a jailhouse call to her mom over the weekend that the letter, which was addressed to her mother, wasn't really intended for her — but rather is part of “this fictional mystery book" that she's working on, People reports.
Richins is accused of killing her husband, 39-year-old Eric Richins, in their Kamas, Utah home on March 3, 2022 by giving him a Moscow Mule containing five times the lethal dose of fentanyl. She was arrested this past May at the home, and is also accused of trying to make Eric's death look like an accidental overdose.
In March, two months before Richins was arrested, her children's book on how to deal with grief was released.
Last Friday, the State of Utah filed a motion claiming that a six-page, handwritten letter was discovered in Richins' jail cell while Summit County deputies were conducting a search of her cell block. The court filing reportedly states that the letter was addressed to Richins' mother, Lisa Darden, and that the note allegedly instructed her to have Richins' brother, Ronald Darden, testify that Eric got drugs in Mexico before his death.
The court filing stated that Richins wrote in the note that Lisa should tell Ronald to testify that, "Eric told [redacted name] that he got pain pills and fentanyl from Mexico from workers on the ranch."
The letter, obtained by People, also allegedly states that Eric had told Ronald “not to tell me because I would get mad because I always said he just gets high every night and won’t help take care of the kids.” It reportedly goes on to say that Ronald can “reword this however he needs to, to make the point. Just include it all.”
On Saturday, the day after the state filed its motion, Richins conducted a phone call with her mother, according to prosectors' transcriptions of the call in court filings obtained by People. On the call, Richins allegedly told her mom that the note wasn't written for her, but is part of “this fictional mystery book."
“Those papers were not a letter to you guys, they were a part of a freaking book,” Richins allegedly added.
The murder suspect's brother Ronald told People that the book is "loosely based on what’s going on, but definitely fiction.”
While on the phone with her mom Saturday, Richins also allegedly said of the book she claims she's writing: "I go to Mexico and I'm trying to find these drugs ... You can tell the whole thing is very much a story.”
After the state accused Richins of witness tampering last week, her defense team filed a motion stating that entering the letter into court record violated a gag ordered that was put on attorneys in the case, claiming the filing is “an extrajudicial statement made for the apparent purpose of influencing the court of public opinion," People reports.
Richins hasn't entered a plea yet in the murder case.
Prosecutors have asked for a no contact order between the defendant and her mom and brother in light of the found letter, but a ruling has not been made yet.