New twist revealed in Utah grief book author Kouri Richins’ murder case

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Kouri Richins, the Utah grief author who faces charges for allegedly killing her hubby with a fentanyl-laced Moscow mule, has been accused of witness tampering after officials found a handwritten letter in her jail cell that relayed instructions about where her family should say that her spouse got the drugs that killed him, prosecutors said.

The writer — who allegedly killed Eric Richins, 39, last year — instructed her mom, Lisa Darden, to have Ronald Darden, Kouri’s brother, to falsely testify that Eric received drugs and pills from Mexico, Fox 13 Now reported.

Deputies found the letter inside Richins’ cell, where she is being held on charges of first-degree aggravated murder and second-degree possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, according to the outlet.

The search was conducted after the 33-year-old woman suffered a seizure when she was given a wrong medication at the Summit County Jail, the Daily Mail reported.

A source told the outlet that it was the sixth time Richins was given the wrong medication.

In the six-page, handwritten missive, she told her mom to instruct her brother to repeat, “Eric told [redacted name] that he got Pain Pills and fentanyl from Mexico from workers on the ranch.


Richins allegedly engaged in witness tampering from behind bars in a letter to her mother.
AP

“[Redacted name] can reword [the narrative] however he needs to, but is super short not a lot to it,” she reportedly added.

Richins warned her mother to only speak to Ronald about the matter in person because she believes Lisa’s home and phone were bugged.  

She also instructed Lisa to get someone named “Lotto” to contact her.

“Tell him do not text me anything about us doing things together ever! Like church, skiing, trips! Nothing that puts us together, it doesn’t look good,” Richins wrote, according to the Daily Mail.

“We’re so close to the end, let’s push through. Have the conversation with Ronney before he meets with Skye,” she wrote, referring to attorney Skye Lozaro.

“Then tell him to tell Skye at the meeting about the conversation. Hang in there, we’re almost there. Love you to the moon,” she reportedly added.


Kouri and Eric Richins
Richins and her husband, Eric Richins, in an undated photo.
Kouri Richins/Facebook

Prosecutors have alleged that in a video conference Richins held with her mother last week, she held up a letter for Lisa to read silently, Fox 13 reported.

“It is imperative” that Richins has no contact with her mother or brother because of the newly-found letter, which constitutes witness tampering, prosecutors said in a motion filed Friday.


Richins' latter
Copy of the six-page letter Richins wrote her mother.
The Third Judicial District – Utah

But Richins’ attorney filed a motion accusing the state of violating its gag order by filing the letter, which allegedly taints the prospective jury pool, Fox 13 added.

Richins wrote the tear-jerker book about grief, “Are You With Me?” a year after she allegedly killed Eric with the drink that includes vodka and ginger beer — and, in this case, fentanyl.

Her husband had suspected that she was carrying on an extramarital affair, family attorney Greg Skordas has said.

Eric had previously told a friend he believed his wife was trying to poison him after he became sick following a Valentine’s Day dinner the month before his death.

He died a day before Kouri closed on a $2 million deal to buy a 22,000-square-foot home — a deal for which he had allegedly refused to pay.

Kouri is suing Eric’s estate, claiming she deserves money and physical assets outlined in their prenuptial agreement. She is seeking half the equity in the couple’s home, which is estimated to be worth “at least $1.9 million,” according to the civil lawsuit filed June 9.

The legal title to the home — which the couple bought for $400,000 in 2012 — was in Eric’s name, but mortgage payments were made from their joint account, according to ther lawsuit.

Summit County prosecutors recently said in a recent filing that they won’t seek the death penalty in the case. They said they reached the decision in “careful consultation” with Eric’s sisters and father.

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