Mom Held in Spouse's Murder Told Cops: 'I Just Want This Over'

Utah woman accused of poisoning husband wrote letter to authorities about her finances, marriage
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 15, 2023 10:15 AM CDT
Utah Mom Accused of Poisoning Hubby Denied Bail
Kouri Richins, a Utah mother of three who authorities say fatally poisoned her husband, is seen during a bail hearing Monday in Park City, Utah.   (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, Pool)

A mom who wrote a children's book about dealing with the grief of losing loved ones, penned after her own husband died, is now accused of killing him and she'll be sitting in jail for the duration of her trial. Kouri Richins, 33, was denied bail during a detention hearing on Monday, in which a judge ruled that she posed a "substantial danger to the community," per ABC4. The AP reports that Richins cried when, during court proceedings, a detective testified how they'd found her husband, Eric Richins, dead and "cold to the touch" in their Utah home on March 4, 2022. Her attorneys, meanwhile, argued that the evidence against her is iffy and circumstantial.

They also noted that the prosecution's star witness, a housekeeper said to have sold Richins the fentanyl allegedly used to kill Eric Richins, isn't credible, as she has motive to lie to ease the drug charges she herself is facing. Prosecutors, however, depicted Richins as a calculated murderer who put finances in order before her spouse's death and bought the drugs to kill him. In a victim impact statement, Eric Richins' sister, Amy Richins, called her sister-in-law "desperate, greedy, and extremely manipulative."

One witness prosecutors put on the stand was Jeff O’Driscoll, the lead investigator in the case, who said that paramedics who first showed up at the Richins' home on the night Eric Richins died were told by Kouri Richins that she'd tried to perform CPR on her spouse, per ABC4. The paramedics said that wasn't true, per O'Driscoll, as they noted that Eric Richins started foaming at the mouth when they began CPR; that foaming would've already taken place if Kouri Richins had done so previously. ABC4 notes that O'Driscoll was also carbon-copied on an email Kouri Richins sent to authorities in Summit County three weeks before her May 8 arrest, in which she tried to "clarify" some of their inquiries.

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In that email, Richins addressed the "exotic vacations" she took after he husband died, an affair she claimed he'd had (though he'd also apparently suspected she was having one), her mental health, and how they didn't have financial issues as has been alleged. She ended the email with: "Happy to clarify or provide anything else you may need. I just want this over, I just want our lives back and to move on and grieve and mourn my husband without looking over my shoulder constatnly [sic] for you guys, or the idiotic Private investigator or the Richins family." Richins is next due in court on June 22. She's able to appeal the bail denial if she wishes but only has a 30-day window to do so. (Prosecutors say Richins had an eyebrow-raising online search history.)

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