Prosecutors provide more information about alleged marital troubles between Kamas couple
Kouri Richins faces four felony counts, detention hearing moved to June 12
The Kamas mother charged with the murder of her husband was scheduled to appear in court this week, but she will remain in jail for at least another month as new filings made by prosecutors on Thursday provided a more detailed timeline of the alleged marital troubles between the couple.
The Summit County Attorney’s Office amended its charging document against 33-year-old Kouri Darden Richins to include additional information about what they argued was a financial motive to kill her spouse, Eric Richins.
Defense attorneys representing Kouri filed a motion to continue the detention hearing, which had been scheduled for Friday afternoon, to give them more time to respond to the four felony charges. The Third District Court granted the motion and the hearing was rescheduled for June 12.
Kouri is charged with aggravated murder, a first-degree felony, and three counts of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, a second-degree felony, stemming from the March 4, 2022 death of Eric. Officials determined Eric died after ingesting five times the lethal dose of illicit fentanyl.
The new filings from this week provide a narrative from prosecutors about actions Kouri allegedly took that would have allowed her to financially benefit from Eric’s death as well as how she became “enraged” when she learned she was no longer her husband’s trustee.
According to court documents, Kouri hired a locksmith to drill Eric’s safe, which may have contained up to $165,000 in cash, two days after his death. Before his death, Eric changed the beneficiary of his will to one of his sisters. Prosecutors said the sister later told Kouri she did not have the authority to open the safe, which allegedly caused her to punch the sister in the face and neck.
Deputies were dispatched to the Kamas home and called Eric’s estate planning lawyer to the scene. It was then that Kouri learned about the existence of the Eric Richins Living Trust, court documents state.
Kouri later sued Eric’s sister for control over the estate. A petition filed by the Richins family seeks to disqualify Kouri from receiving any benefits under Eric’s estate and alleged she had a financial motive to kill him.
The amendments also state Kouri applied for a new $100,000 life insurance policy on Eric in early 2022. The policy was issued one month before his death. Kouri also purchased at least four other life insurance policies on Eric with aggregate death benefits close to $2 million, without his knowledge, between 2015 and 2017.
Nearly one week after the newest policy took effect, on Feb. 11, Kouri allegedly obtained fentanyl from an acquaintance known as C.L. in court documents. Prosecutors said she paid $900 for between 15 and 30 pills, and that Kouri had contacted the acquaintance for fentanyl several times in January 2022.
Several days later, Kouri allegedly served Eric a sandwich “with a love note” that made him very ill. He told friends he believed his wife had poisoned him.
“Eric has told friends and/or family that if anything happened to him Kouri would be the one to blame,” court filings stated.
The acquaintance told deputies Kouri contacted her in late February 2022. Documents state Kouri told C.L. the fentanyl pills she previously provided were not strong enough and asked that she obtain something stronger, “some of the Michael Jackson stuff.”
Prosecutors said Kouri obtained more fentanyl around March 9, 2022. Like the other drop-offs, it was left at a vacant house in Midway that Kouri owned.
Court filings indicate Kouri began experiencing serious financial troubles in 2016, three years after she married Eric, and started stealing money from her husband to help her flip houses.
Documents state Eric was unaware of the theft until September 2020, when he discovered Kouri had withdrawn more than $100,000 total from his bank accounts and that she had charged more than $30,000 to his credit cards. Kouri is accused of using money that was intended to pay for Eric’s tax obligations for her own benefit.
The amendments state she had a lengthy phone call with the IRS on March 3. Kouri’s outstanding state and federal tax liability was almost $200,000 and she owed a hard money lender at least $1.8 million, according to court documents.
Kouri has retained Salt Lake City-based criminal defense attorney Skye Lazaro.
Deer Valley resident, a retired television producer, starts Park City Council campaign
Sertner intends to address the related issues of transportation and parking — key topics in the community’s traffic-fighting efforts — in his platform. He described a vision involving park-and-ride lots or garages off Interstate 80 and U.S. 40 with transit service between those locations and destinations in Park City.
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