The Mormon mother accused of poisoning her husband last year with a fentanyl-laced Moscow Mule is said to have thrown a large house party the day after his death.
According to court documents, Kouri Richins, 33, and her husband, Eric, 39, had argued over her plans to buy and flip a $2 million home in the days before he was found dead at their home in Kamas on March 4, 2022. .
But just a day after his death, affidavits for search warrants show, Kouri signed the closing papers on the 10-acre estate and invited her friends to a party at her home where she drank and celebrated.
Authorities now say Kouri poisoned Eric with a lethal amount of fentanyl in his Moscow Mule on March 3 in an apparent attempt to get money from his life insurance policy, later to write a children’s book about grieving for her three young sons.
Kouri now faces charges of aggravated murder and three counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.
Kouri Richins, left, is accused of poisoning her husband, Eric Richins, right, by feeding him a Moscow Mule filled with fentanyl on March 3, 2022
The couple had apparently argued over Kouri’s plans to buy and flip a $2 million house (pictured)
Prior to his death, family members said, Eric had changed his will to make his sister the sole beneficiary of his life insurance policy and even thought about divorcing Kouri.
He feared she was trying to kill him, family members claimed, citing two separate cases where he became violently ill after drinking or eating with his wife.
One of Eric’s two sisters said he and his wife were traveling to Greece about three years ago when she got a call from her brother.
He claimed that Kouri gave him a potion that made him feel violently ill, and said he thought she had tried to kill him.
According to authorities, in January 2022, Kouri changed Eric’s joint life insurance policy, which he shared with his business partner Cody Wright, so that she was the sole beneficiary.
But when the insurance company notified the partners, who own the C&E Stone Masonry company, of the change, they were able to change it again.
After learning that Richins had tried to change his life insurance policy, Eric changed the beneficiary of his will and his power of attorney to his sister without telling his wife because he was afraid she would “kill him for the money,” according to a warrant. .
Then, on Valentine’s Day 2022, family members said, Kouri brought Eric a sandwich — and after just one bite, he broke out in hives and couldn’t breathe.
He had to use his son’s epi-pen and Benadryl to recover, and passed out for several hours.
A medical examiner said they found five times the lethal dose of fentanyl – a painkiller 100 times stronger than morphine – in Eric’s body after he died on March 4 last year. Pictured: Richins and Eric with one of their sons
Eric’s family told investigators shortly after his death that they suspected Richins had murdered the father of three children. Pictured: Kouri and Eric Richens with their three children
Eric had even thought of divorcing Kouri before his death, relatives said, but decided to stay in the marriage for the sake of his young sons.
“They had three boys, three young boys, and think Eric, being so involved in their lives as a football coach, baseball coach, basketball coach, wanted to keep the family together,” family spokesman Greg Skordas told me. NBC news.
“Eric was a good father… He was a philanthropist,” Skordas added. “He cared about a lot of people” and “he tried his best to get the most out of his marriage.”
Still, he is said to have had financial concerns over Kouri’s $4 to $6 million renovation of a home that can accommodate 60 people.
Relatives even say that he had no intention of signing the deed but had not told Kouri before he died.
But after his death those plans were continued.
Kouri planned to buy the $2 million home and renovate it for $4 to $6 million, but Eric had financial concerns and wouldn’t sign the deed, family members say
Kouri told investigators on the scene that she and her husband were celebrating because she had just closed a house for her real estate company
At the time of Eric’s death, Kouri had told investigators that she and her husband were celebrating the night before he died because she had just closed a house for her real estate company.
She said she made him a Moscow Mule in the kitchen and took it to the bedroom, where he drank it in bed.
Kouri had said she wasn’t in the bedroom while Eric was drinking the cocktail because she decided to sleep in one of her son’s bedrooms after he had a nightmare.
She then claimed that she woke up around 3 a.m. to find her husband “feeling cold” in the bedroom and called 911. She also said she tried to resuscitate her husband while first responders were on their way.
And she told the deputies that she left her cell phone in the bedroom and didn’t take it to the nursery.
But investigators later found that her phone had been locked and unlocked several times during the night, and she was texting a friend back and forth.
Those messages have since been deleted.
Firefighters and medics who arrived at the scene also said it was unlikely she was attempting life-saving measures as blood was pouring out of Eric’s mouth when they arrived at the scene.
She claimed to have resuscitated her husband after finding him ‘feeling cold’, but first responders said that was unlikely
After his death, Richins wrote ‘Are you with me?’ – a picture book she wrote to help children deal with the death of a loved one
The $14.99 book was available on Amazon and is dedicated to Eric Richins
A subsequent autopsy and toxicology report later concluded that Eric died of a fentanyl overdose, with the Summit County medical examiner saying he had five times the lethal dose in his system.
In the aftermath, an unnamed acquaintance stepped forward to reveal that he sold Kouri the fentanyl.
According to court documents, she had purchased another $900 worth of fentanyl pills from the acquaintance before Valentine’s Day 2022 and two weeks later.
She allegedly asked for the “Michael Jackson thing.”
After he died, Kouri claimed he was addicted to painkillers in high school, but has had no substance abuse issues since.
But friends and family told police they had no idea Eric was addicted to any kind of drug, and officers found no painkillers in the family home.
The family is now happy that charges have finally been brought against Kouri, Skordas said, and hope that “justice will be served.”
Last month, Kouri appeared on the local news network to promote her children’s book
The anchors praised her for being a great mother to her three sons
Kouri remains in the custody of Summit County sheriff’s deputies pending her next trial.
Just last month, she appeared on a local TV station to promote her $14.99 book, Are You With Me?’.
Video from that performance shows her calling her husband’s death a “shock” and talking wistfully about how she helped their three sons through the grief.
My husband passed away unexpectedly last year. March 4 was an anniversary for us, he turned 39.
“It completely shocked us all,” she said.
“We have three little boys, 10, nine, and six, and my kids and I have written this book about the different emotions and grieving we’ve been through over the past year.”
She said she was motivated to write the book after searching Amazon and Barnes and Noble and finding “nothing” to help them “cope.”
“I went on Amazon and Barnes and Noble to try to find something to help us out at night, nights are the hardest. I just wanted a story to read to my kids at night and I couldn’t find anything that suited them, so I was like, ‘Let’s just write one.’
For kids, Richins said, grieving was about “making sure their spirit always lives in your home.”
“It’s – you know – explaining it to my child just because he’s not physically here with us doesn’t mean his presence isn’t here with us,” she told the presenters, who praised her for being a great mother.