Prosecutors: Kouri Richins Had Already Tried to Kill Husband

Utah woman is charged with attempted murder over alleged February 2022 incident
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 27, 2024 8:26 AM CDT
Prosecutors: Kouri Richins Tried to Kill Husband Once Before
Kouri Richins, a Utah mother of three who authorities say fatally poisoned her husband, Eric Richins, in March 2022, then wrote a children's book about grieving, looks on during a hearing, Nov. 3, 2023, in Park City, Utah.   (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, Pool, File)

A Utah woman who authorities say fatally poisoned her husband in 2022, then published a children's book about grief, now faces another attempted murder charge for allegedly drugging him weeks earlier on Valentine's Day. Kouri Richins, 33, is accused of killing her husband with a lethal dose of fentanyl at their home in a small mountain town near Park City in March 2022. New charging documents filed Monday by Summit County prosecutors allege that was not her first attempt on his life and detail the perilous months preceding Eric Richins' death, reports the AP.

Prosecutors have said previously that Kouri Richins, who is being held without bail, may have tried to poison her husband the month before his death, but they did not file the additional charges until this week. One bite of his favorite sandwich—left with a note in the front seat of his truck on Valentine's Day—made Eric Richins, 39, break out in hives and black out, prosecutors allege in the new documents. His wife had bought the sandwich from a local diner in the city of Kamas the same week she also purchased several dozen fentanyl pills, according to witness statements and deleted text messages that were recovered by police.

The state's star witness, a housekeeper who claims to have sold her the drugs, told law enforcement that she gave Kouri Richins the pills a couple of days before Valentine's Day. Later that month, Richins allegedly told the housekeeper that the pills she provided were not strong enough and asked her to procure stronger fentanyl, according to the new charging documents.

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In witness testimony, two friends of Eric Richins recount phone conversations from the day prosecutors are now saying he was first poisoned by his wife of nine years. After injecting himself with his son's EpiPen and chugging a bottle of Benadryl, he woke from deep sleep and told a friend, "I think my wife tried to poison me." His friends say they noticed fear in his voice as Richins, who had no known allergies, told them that he felt like he was going to die and that his wife might be to blame. Opioids, including fentanyl, can cause severe allergic reactions, including hives. (Kouri Richins' mother also had a partner who died from an overdose.)

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