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Grief Book Author Accused of Fatally Poisoning Husband With Fentanyl-Laced Cocktail Won’t Face Death Penalty
Kouri Richins wrote a children’s book that deals with grief that was published a year after she allegedly poisoned her husband, Eric Richins, with a fentanyl-laced Moscow mule.
Utah grief book author Kouri Richins won’t face the death penalty for allegedly fatally poisoning her husband with fentanyl last year, prosecutors said.
In newly filed court documents, prosecutors revealed they reached the decision following a “careful consultation” with her husband Eric Richins’ family members.
“This decision was made in careful consultation with Eric Richins’ father and his two sisters, who are Eric Richins’ personal representative and victim representative, respectively,” prosecutors for the Summit County Attorney’s Office wrote in a notice of intent that was filed on Friday, according to CNN, which obtained the court records.
In May, Kouri was arrested after prosecutors accused her of orchestrating her spouse’s deadly poisoning and later attempting to frame his death as an accidental overdose. Investigators allege that in March of 2022, Kouri poisoned her 39-year-old husband with a fentanyl-laced ginger beer and vodka cocktail. She was originally charged with aggravated murder and possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.
Kouri’s charge has now downgraded to a noncapital first degree felony, according to the newly filed court records.
During pre-trial proceedings, prosecutors said that the Utah realtor and children’s book author carried out her husband’s murder after the couple had clashed over the cost of a luxury $2 million mansion. According to separate court documents, Eric, they said, was wary of committing to the lavish purchase. Kouri, however, ultimately closed on the property deal a day after her husband’s suspected slaying.
Following Eric’s death, the Utah man’s family and friends implicated his wife in a suspected plot to kill him. Loved ones told detectives that Eric had confided in them that he’d begun to suspect his wife was poisoning him, particularly following a Valentine’s Day dinner in which he’d become ill, the New York Post reported.
“While investigating the death I was told by Eric’s family member that they suspected his wife had something to do with his death,” authorities wrote in an earlier warrant, KUTV reported. “They advised he warned them that if anything happened to him she was to blame.”
According to relatives and friends, who cited a trip to Greece and later a Valentine’s Day dinner in which Eric became ill while dining with his wife, the poisoning incidents had been occurring for weeks leading up to his death.
“According to a sister, Eric and his wife went to Greece a few years ago and after his wife gave him a drink he became violently ill and called his sister saying he believed his wife had tried to kill him,” the warrant added. “On Valentine’s Day of 2022, his wife brought him a sandwich, which after one bite Eric broke into hives and couldn’t breathe. He used his son’s EpiPen as well as Benadryl before passing out for several hours.”
The Utah man’s family also claimed that prior to the deadly incident, he’d informed his wife that she’d been removed from his will. He'd reportedly suspected that Kouri was cheating on him, according to Eric's family's attorney, Greg Skordas.
In March of this year, Kouri published Are You With Me? — a children’s book exploring how to navigate grief — days after the one-year anniversary of her husband’s demise.