Mother accused of killing husband with fentanyl-laced cocktail ‘misses her children’ in prison, lawyer says

‘She’s going through a lot,’ Kouri Rouchins’s attorney said

Andrea Blanco
Saturday 02 September 2023 16:18 BST
Woman Charged With Murder After Writing A Book About Him

A mother-of-three accused of poisoning her husband with a fentanyl-laced cocktail broke down in tears as she appeared in court because she missed her children, according to her attorney.

Kouri Richins, 33, is facing charges of aggravated murder and three counts of drug possession with intent to distribute in the March 2022 death of her husband Eric Richins.

Prosecutors in Summit County, Utah, argue that Ms Richins allegedly killed her husband of seven years by slipping a lethal dose of fentanyl into a Moscow Mule he later drank.

On Friday, Ms Richins’s defence team requested more time to go through documents and build her case for an upcoming preliminary hearing, where the judge will determine whether there is probable cause to move forward with a trial. Judge Richard Mrazik granted a time extension and set the next status update for 3 November.

But as the proceedings wrapped up, Ms Richins was seen breaking down in tears while her attorney, Skye Lazaro, comforted her. The attorney later explained to CBS affiliate KUTV that her client had become upset because she missed her children.

“This is hard. She’s been in custody. She’s lost her kids. She’s going through a lot. All she wanted from the beginning was to grieve her husband,” Ms Lazaro told the outlet.

Following her husband’s death on 4 March 2022, Ms Richins self-published a children’s book about grief. The book — titled Are You With Me? — features an angelic father watching over his children from heaven after his death.

Ms Richins appeared on a local TV show to promote the book just weeks before she was taken into custody in May.

Ms Richins reportedly took out at least four life insurance policies on her husband before she allegedly poisoned him.

Kouri Richins is comforted by her attorney Skye Lazaro during a status hearing on Friday in Utah

According to documents previously presented in court, Richins had consulted a divorce attorney after learning that his wife was more than $2million in debt.

On Valentine’s Day 2022, she “prepared a sandwich for Eric Richins and placed it on the seat of his truck with a love note”.

Richins reportedly broke out in hives and later told a friend that he believed his wife had tried to poison him.

Prosecutors believe that Ms Richins then procured illicit fentanyl and drugged a Moscow Mule she made for her husband.

Kouri Richins is accused of murdering her husband Eric in March 2022

Ms Richins told investigators that her husband drank the cocktail while in bed, and she slept in one of the boys’ bedrooms because the child was having a night terror. When she awoke around 3am, Ms Richins said she returned to her room and found Eric cold to the touch.

An analysis of her phone also found that searches on Ms Richin’s iPhone included “can cops force you to do a lie detector test?”, “Luxury prisons for the rich in America” and “If someone is poisoned what does it go down on the death certificate as,” KCRA reported.

Ms Richins has denied the allegations against her.

Last month, prosecutors announced the state would not be seeking the death penalty in the case.

If convicted, Ms Richins faces between 25 years to life in prison.

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