SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4) — Kouri Richins’ detention hearing, which was scheduled for Friday, May 19, was postponed due to amended charges which included new insights into the case.
Richins was charged on May 8 with criminal homicide, aggravated murder, a first-degree felony, two counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, second-degree felonies, and one possession of a controlled substance. The last charge was amended May 18 to include intent to distribute.
Her amended charges included all new information on the events leading up to the murder of Kouri’s husband, Eric Richins. Her detention hearing has been postponed to June 12.
The following is new information from the amended charges for Kouri Richins:
Eric Richins and his wife, Kouri Richins, had a premarital agreement on June 15, 2013, establishing that each did not have rights to one other’s “present or future income, property or assets” except if Eric Richins died while the two were lawfully married, his partnership interest in his business would transfer to Kouri Richins, the court document revealed. Among Eric Richins’ premarital property is his Kamas home located in Summit County.
In September 2020, Eric Richins discovered that Kouri Richins had obtained and spent a $250,000 home equity line of credit on the Kamas home, withdrawn at least $100,000 from his bank accounts, and spent in excess of $30,000 on his credit cards.
Kouri Richins had also allegedly been in charge of paying Eric’s taxes, but she allegedly did not pay the taxes and instead kept the money. The stolen tax payments were at least $134,346. Eric Richins allegedly confronted his wife, and she agreed to pay.
In December 2020, Eric consulted a divorce lawyer and estate planning lawyer. Unknown to Kouri Richins, Eric Richins changed his will and placed his estate under the control of his sister Kate Richins-Benson. He also formed the Eric Richins Living Trust in 2020 and designated the trust as the beneficiary $500,000 life insurance policy instead of Kouri. A living trust is a legal document that acts as a will so that money can be distributed after death.
Unknown to Eric Richins, between 2015 and 2017, Kouri Richins purchased at least four life insurance policies on Eric Richins’ life with aggregate death benefits of $1,947,000. These were not disclosed to Richins’ estate planning attorney because Eric did not know about them.
In late January 2022, Kouri Richins applied for a new $100,000 life insurance policy on Eric Richins’ life. It was issued on Feb. 4, one month prior to his death. One week later, Kouri obtained illicit fentanyl from an acquaintance, C.L.
C.L. stated that in order to fulfill Kouri Richins’ request for fentanyl, she messaged one of her acquaintances, who provided her with the phone number of a drug dealer. C.L. said she met with the drug dealer at the Maverick gas station in Draper on Feb 11, 2022, and purchased 15-30 round light green-blue pills, which she understood to be fentanyl. She said she delivered these pills to Kouri in the driveway of a home in Heber City.
Three days later, Kouri Richins left a sandwich on the seat of Eric Richins’ truck with a love note. He said shortly afterward he broke out in hives and had difficulty breathing. Eric Richins found his son’s EpiPen and administered it to himself and slept. He later told a friend he thought his wife was trying to poison him.
Prior to March 1, 2022, Kouri Richins’ outstanding state and federal tax liability was $189,000 and she owed a hard money lender at least $1,847,760. She also owed Eric Richins at least $514,346.
In late February 2022, Kouri Richins said the fentanyl was not strong enough and asked for stronger fentanyl. Kouri Richins allegedly procured another $900 worth of fentanyl pills that C.L. at the outdoor firepit of the Midway House.
Six days later, on March 4, 2022, Eric Richins died from an overdose of fentanyl that was ingested orally. This was a few hours after he and Kouri Richins were reportedly celebrating Kouri Richins’ closing on a house for her business with alcoholic drinks. For more information on that night, read ABC4’s original article.
On March 6, 2023, Kouri Richins arranged for a locksmith to drill Eric Richins’ safe, which contained between $125,000 and $165,000 in cash. When Eric Richins’ sister Katie suggested Kouri Richins did not have the authority to open his safe because there was a trustee. Kouri Richins allegedly punched Katie in the face and neck. Deputies responded and called Eric Richins’ estate planning lawyer, and this is when Kouri learned of the existence of the Eric Richins Living Trust.
On March 9, 2022, at 10:24 a.m., phone records state that C.L. contacted an acquaintance and asked her to drive her to Draper to purchase fentanyl. C.L. said that she was driving to Kouri Richins’ house in Francis where she wrote C.L. a $1,300 check for fentanyl. The check from Kouri Richins was dated March 6.
On either March 9 or 10, after C.L. procured the pills, which she understood to be fentanyl, she left the pills for another acquaintance, not Kouri Richins, in the firepit of the backyard of a vacant house in Midway that Kouri Richins owned and was in the process of selling.