A Utah mother of three on trial for allegedly murdering her husband in 2022 with a poisoned cocktail said she had normal explanations for taking so-called “exotic vacations” after the death, according to court documents.
A month before she was arrested, Kouri Richins emailed officials in Summit County to explain a series of trips to Salt Lake City, Spain and Mexico, according to the documents obtained by the New York Post.
“You asked about any exotic vacations I have taken since Eric’s passing. I went on two trips last year. One, my kids tried out at a soccer camp in SLC [Salt Lake City] to qualify to play in Spain in June and both my kids made it. So yes, I took them to Spain in October 2022. I have attached their invitation letters,” read one message.
“I took my kids and my mom came with us in August of 2022 to Mexico. As I hope you understand, the months prior to this since Eric’s death have been hard to deal with,” she said elsewhere.
“Eric and I went to Mexico every year, sometimes twice. We traveled A LOT. We have taken the boys to Mexico a few times,” she continued.
Ms Richins was arrested on 8 May and charged with first-degree murder and possession of a controlled substance, with prosecutors alleging she killed her husband by spiking a Moscow mule cocktail with a lethal dose of fentanyl.
The Utah woman wrote a children’s book about dealing with grief and went on local television to promote its release weeks before she got arrested.
“It was right up until the end that she was carrying on as though nothing had happened, and that she was a victim, and she was a martyr and promoting her book,” lawyer and Richins family spokesman Greg Skordas told The Independent.
Her defence has argued in court that she is not guilty and there is “no substantial evidence to support the charges,” Fox 13 reported.
Ms Richins was denied bond by a Utah court as her trial progresses.
Eric Richins was remembered as a dedicated father, local businessman and coach of youth sports.
“He spent countless hours coaching and teaching the boys to ‘play aggressive’ and ‘give it their all!’” according to an obituary. “Eric truly cared about every single child he coached and wanted the absolute best for all of them.”
Both members of the marriage have suggested, directly or through their representatives, that the other was having an affair.
In the months before Richins’s death, the couple appeared to be manoeuvring for control of the family finances, with Eric changing his will and life insurance policies, while Kouri allegedly attempted to alter Eric’s life insurance partner and benefits related to his stone masonry business.