Strange Case of Mom Accused in Husband's Death Gets Stranger

Kouri Richins accused of witness tampering, but she says letter is actually part of fictional novel
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 26, 2023 3:00 AM CDT
Strange Case of Mom Accused in Husband's Death Gets Stranger
Kouri Richins, left, a Utah mother of three who authorities say fatally poisoned her husband, Eric Richins, then wrote a children's book about grieving, listens as her attorney Skye Lazaro speaks during a status hearing Friday, Sept. 1, 2023, in Park City, Utah.   (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, Pool)

The Utah mother accused of fatally poisoning her husband, then writing a children's book about sons grieving their father's death, has taken another turn. Earlier this month, the state accused Kouri Richins of witness tampering, citing a handwritten six-page note to her mother that was allegedly found hidden inside a textbook in her jail cell, Fox 13 reports. In it, Richins allegedly told her mother to have her brother say that her late husband had died after taking pain pills he received from Mexico. Days later, she responded to the filing denying the allegations and saying the letter, which was titled "Walk the Dog," is part of a novel she's working on that fictionalizes a stay in a Mexican prison, ABC 4 reports.

Days after that, one of her brothers appeared on Good Morning America Friday and said the whole family knows Richins is innocent. It's not clear whether that is the same brother referred to in the letter, the AP reports. (Also in the letter, Richins allegedly wrote that her lawyer would arrange for "my girls" to appear on the morning show; the Park Record suggests that could be a reference to her friends. Richins and her husband shared three young sons.) Richins also allegedly discussed another letter with her mom during a prison visit, and silently held up a third letter for her mom to photograph or read, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. Richins' family says her husband used drugs recreationally and overdosed, but authorities say Richins put a fatal dose of fentanyl in a cocktail she made her husband last year. (More Utah stories.)

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