Mourner accused of killing husband with fentanyl allegedly asked brother to lie in letter found in cell

By | September 18, 2023

A Utah mother accused of fatally poisoning her husband with a fentanyl-laced cocktail now faces new charges in the disturbing case for allegedly fabricating a story about the victim’s alleged overseas drug purchases.

Summit County prosecutors have now charged 33-year-old Kouri Richins with witness tampering over what they say was an attempt to get his brother to “falsely” testify on his behalf.

Ms. Richins already faces aggravated murder and three counts of drug possession with intent to distribute in the March 2022 death of her husband Eric Richins.

Richins allegedly killed her husband seven years ago by putting a lethal dose of fentanyl in a Moscow Mule that he later drank. Before her arrest earlier this year, she self-published a children’s book about grief based on her children’s experiences after they lost their father.

The prosecution has already filed a motion requesting no contact between Ms. Richins and two of her family members. According to the lawsuit, authorities found a six-page letter hidden in Ms. Richins’ cell in which she asked her mother, Lisa Darden, to instruct her brother “to testify falsely regarding this matter.”

In the letter, obtained by CourtTV, Ms. Richins writes that her brother Ronald Darden should tell his lawyer about an alleged two-minute conversation in which her late husband told Mr. Darden about purchasing drugs overseas.

“Here’s what I’m thinking, but you need to talk to Ronney,” Richins wrote. “A year before Eric died, Ronny was watching football and Eric and Ronny were talking about trips to Mexico. Eric told Ronny he takes painkillers [and] fentanyl from Mexico.”

Prosecutors previously said there is no evidence to suggest Richins purchased the fentanyl that killed him.

Richins went on to write that Mr. Darden “would probably have to testify about this, but it’s very short, not much.” She also said in the letter that Mr. Darden could take some liberties with the narrative as long as he got across what he wanted to say.

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Kouri Richins, a Utah mother of three who authorities say fatally poisoned her husband, Eric Richins

She then asked her mother to convey her message to Mr. Darden.

Ms. Richins also made reference to an upcoming “Good Morning America interview” with close friends of hers. Ms. Richins wrote precise instructions about what was to be mentioned in the interview.

“Please say [redacted] to mention that he hasn’t been to church in 13 [years] she met him,” the letter said. “And Eric bragged to her about how much he drank and took pills in high school… Say [redacted] say, ‘Eric always wanted Kouri to fall in love with him.’”

“The Defendant’s conduct in drafting and concealing the letter establishes her intent to tamper with witnesses. His trust in Lisa Darden and Ronald Darden suggests his predisposition to tampering,” prosecutors argued.

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


After her husband’s death on March 4, 2022, Ms. Richins self-published a children’s book. The book – titled You are with me? – features an angelic father watching over his children from heaven after his death.

Richins appeared on a local TV show to promote the book just weeks before she was arrested in May.

Prosecutors alleged that Richins had previously tried to poison her husband after he discovered she was in debt.

Mrs. Richins allegedly took out at least four life insurance policies on her husband before allegedly poisoning him. According to documents previously filed in court, Richins consulted a divorce attorney after learning his wife was in more than $2 million in debt.

On Valentine’s Day 2022, she reportedly “made Eric Richins a sandwich and placed it on the seat of his truck with a love note.”

Richins reportedly broke out in hives and later told a friend he believed his wife had tried to poison him.

Prosecutors believe Ms. Richins acquired illicit fentanyl and drugged a Moscow Mule she made for her husband.

An analysis of his phone found that searches on Richin’s iPhone included “Can cops force you to take a lie detector test?”, “Luxury prisons for the rich in America” and “If someone is poisoned, the What happens to death? certified as,” KCRA reported.

Ms. Richins denied the allegations against her.

Prosecutors announced that the state would not seek the death penalty in the case. If convicted, Richins could face between 25 years and life in prison.

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