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Utah woman tried to poison husband with sandwich before murder with fentanyl-laced cocktail, court hears

Before there was the fatal Moscow mule cocktail, this Utah wife allegedly used a sandwich to poison her husband on Valentine’s Day

Amelia Neath
Thursday 28 March 2024 20:08 GMT
Related Video: Kouri Richins, Utah grief book author who allegedly killed hubby, accused of witness tampering

A Utah grief author who allegedly murdered her husband with a fentanyl-laced cocktail now faces another attempted murder charge for previously trying to poison him with a sandwich on Valentine’s Day.

Kouri Richins, 33, has been accused by authorities of killing her husband by spiking her husband’s cocktail with a lethal dose of fentanyl at their home in Park City, Utah, back in March 2022.

The author was arrested last year on aggravated murder, among other charges in the death of her husband, with whom she also shared three sons.

However, new charging documents obtained by the Associated Press allege that this was not her first time attempting to poison her husband.

Prosecutors are now purporting that Ms Richins, who is currently being held without bail, may have tried to poison her husband before the deadly cocktail, with a sandwich.

Eric Richins, 39, allegedly took a bite of his favourite snack, left for him on the front seat of his truck, accompanied by a note on Valentine’s Day.

But one bite made Eric break out in hives and black out, prosecutors have claimed in the documents.

The self-published author is also accused of mortgage fraud and insurance fraud (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

His wife had allegedly bought the sandwich from a local diner in Kamas, the same week she also purchased several dozen fentanyl pills, witness statements and deleted texts recovered by police revealed.

One witness in particular, a housekeeper, told authorities that she sold Ms Richins the pills a few days before Valentine’s Day.

The housekeeper claimed that later in the month, Ms Richins approached her again and told her that the pills she gave her were not strong enough and asked for stronger fentanyl, the documents allege.

Two friends of Eric’s said in a testimony that they recalled something rather sinister he said that day while on the phone to him: “I think my wife tried to poison me.”

They said that Eric had injected himself with his son’s EpiPen and chugged a bottle of Benadryl, and woke from a deep sleep, adding that there was fear in his voice when he spoke to them.

The documents also say, according to NBC, that Eric had texted his wife and said that he was not feeling good, saying he may go to the hospital if it continued.

His wife replied, saying he should take a nap. It would not be until a few weeks later that Ms Richins would call 911 during the night, saying that she found her husband “cold to the touch”.

A medical examiner who assessed Eric’s body later found that there was around five times the lethal dosage of fentanyl in his system.

“One or two pills might be accidental. Twenty – or five times the lethal dose – is not accidental. That is someone who wants Eric dead,” Summit County Chief Prosecutor Patricia Cassell said.

In a bizarre turn of events, before she was taken into custody, Ms Richins self-published a children’s book titled Are You With Me? , which 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 arrested in May 2023.

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

In the years leading to Eric’s death, Ms Richins had opened a number of life insurance policies on her husband without his knowledge, totalling nearly $2m, the prosecutors claimed.

On Monday, Ms Richins was also handed charges of mortgage fraud and insurance fraud for allegedly forging loan applications and fraudulently claiming insurance benefits after his death, The AP reports.

An attorney for Kouri Richins told NBC that they have reviewed the charging documents and "there is nothing in the documents that affects Kouri’s approach to defending whatever charges the State levies against her."

"She continues to maintain her innocence," the attorney said in a statement.

Kouri Richins remains detained as she awaits trial.

The Independent has contacted Ms Richins’ attorney for comment.

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