Utah judge to decide if Kouri Richins, author of children’s book on grief, will face trial in her husband’s death

A Utah woman who authorities say fatally poisoned her husband, then published a children’s book about coping with grief, will appear in court Wednesday for a hearing that will determine whether state prosecutors have enough evidence against her to proceed with a trial.

Kouri Richins, 33, faces several felony charges for allegedly killing her husband with a lethal dose of fentanyl in March 2022 at their home in a small mountain town near Park City.

Prosecutors say she slipped five times the lethal dose of the synthetic opioid into a Moscow mule cocktail that Eric Richins, 39, drank.

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, on Nov. 3, 2023, in Park City, Utah. AP

She previously tried to kill him with a spiked sandwich on Valentine’s Day, charging documents allege.

In the months leading up to her arrest in May 2023, the mother of three self-published the children’s book “Are You with Me?” about a father with angel wings watching over his young son after passing away.

The book could play a key role for prosecutors in framing the crime as a calculated murder with an elaborate cover-up attempt.

Both the defense and prosecution plan to call on witnesses and introduce evidence to help shape their narratives in the case.

Utah state Judge Richard Mrazik is expected to decide after the hearing whether the state has presented sufficient evidence to go forward with a trial.

Prosecutors say she slipped five times the lethal dose of the synthetic opioid into a Moscow mule cocktail that Eric Richins, 39, drank. Kouri Richins/Facebook
In the months leading up to her arrest in May 2023, the mother of three self-published the children’s book “Are You with Me?” about a father with angel wings watching over his young son after passing away. Amazon

Witnesses could include other family members, a housekeeper who claims to have sold Kouri Richins the drugs and friends of Eric Richins who have recounted phone conversations from the day prosecutors say he was first poisoned by his wife of nine years.

Defense attorney Skye Lazaro has argued that the evidence against her client is dubious and circumstantial.

Lazaro has suggested the housekeeper had motivation to lie as she sought leniency in the face of drug charges, and that Eric Richins’ sisters had a clear bias against her client amid a battle over his estate and a concurrent assault case.

She previously tried to kill him with a spiked sandwich on Valentine’s Day, charging documents allege. Facebook / Kouri Richins

A petition filed by his sister, Katie Richins, alleges Kouri Richins had financial motives for killing her husband as prosecutors say she had opened life insurance policies totaling nearly $2 million without his knowledge and mistakenly believed she would inherit his estate under terms of their prenuptial agreement.

Kouri Richins was found guilty on misdemeanor charges Monday of assaulting her other sister-in-law shortly after her husband’s death.

Amy Richins told the judge that Kouri Richins had punched her in the face during an argument over access to her brother’s safe.

In addition to aggravated murder, assault and drug charges, Kouri Richins has been charged with mortgage fraud, forgery and insurance fraud for allegedly forging loan applications and fraudulently claiming insurance benefits after her husband’s death.

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