A Utah woman who allegedly sold the fentanyl that investigators believe was used to kill author Kouri Richins’ husband appeared in court this week, but for a separate case.
Carmen Marie Lauber, 51, has not been arrested or charged with any crimes related to the death of Eric Richins. It’s unclear why she was in court. However, the Richins’ case was not referred to by name during Wednesday’s hearing, KSL.com reported.
While omitting the name, Judge Jennifer Mabey alluded to the Richins case, saying, “we’re at the mercy of a different case we don’t have control over.” Lauber’s next court hearing is scheduled for 16 August.
Richins died in March 2022 after a fentanyl overdose, according to an autopsy report. His wife has been accused of giving Richins a lethal dose of fentanyl, and has been charged with aggravated murder and three counts of drug possession with intent to distribute.
Summit County detectives discovered text exchanges between the two women from 1 March 2022 to 15 March 2022. Lauber is identified by her initials – CL – in the arrest warrant for Mrs Richins.
Ms Richins, according to the warrant, asked Lauber for “some of the Michael Jackson stuff” in February 2022, prompting Lauber to then contact a dealer and she “procured 15-30 fentanyl pills.” Days later, on Valentine’s Day, Richins became sick, and told a friend that he thought his wife was trying to poison him.
Lauber was convicted in 2021 in one case of drug possession with intent to distribute and drug possession, and in a second case of two more counts of drug possession with intent to distribute and drug possession.
On 27 March, Lauber was also arrested for a misdemeanour traffic offence and held in custody in the Wasatch County Jail, KSL.com reported.
In April, Summit County Sheriff’s Office filed an affidavit, which was obtained by the publication, that states, “The Summit County Sheriff’s Office has been conducting an investigation regarding a death that occurred in March of 2022. During this investigation, information became available that Lauber had a significant illicit drug history and is likely still involved in the possession and distribution of illegal substances.”
On 17 May, a judge released her from custody, with a few requirements: she wear a GPS ankle monitor, stay out of contact with Ms Richins, among others, and to stay within Wasatch County.