SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) — Kouri Richins, the Utah mother and children’s book author accused of poisoning and killing her husband with fentanyl, is back in court for a status hearing on Friday, Nov. 3.
You can follow along with the hearing with the live stream right here on ABC4.com starting at 1:30 p.m.
Friday’s hearing is a continuation to find a date for a preliminary hearing. Richins, her attorneys and state prosecutors last met in front of Judge Richard Mrazik in late August. Richins’ defense lawyer, Skye Lazaro requested more time to get familiar with certain financial aspects of the case.
Mrazik and prosecutors agreed, setting a second status conference for Friday, Nov. 3, where a preliminary hearing is expected to be scheduled.
In September, State Prosecutors filed a letter allegedly found in a book in Richins’ cell. The letter – titled “Walk the Dog” – allegedly instructs her mother, Lisa Darden, to tell her brother how to testify to Lazaro. The letter claimed her husband, Eric Richins, confided in her brother that he regularly got high from drugs he obtained in Mexico.
Richins claimed she was writing a “fictional book” in which she jumps bail and goes to Mexico. She also said the letters were not actually found in a book, but in a manila envelope addressed to her lawyer, Skye Lazaro, signaling attorney-client privileges.
The State of Utah strongly disagreed, claiming the letter was witness tampering and asking the court to bar Richins from contacting her mother and brother.
Skye Lazaro said filing the letter was a breach of a gag order requested by the State. Lazaro further said the news coverage of the “Walk the Dog” letter tampered with the court of public opinion by painting Richins in a negative light. As such, Lazaro is asking for the case to be dismissed or moved to Salt Lake County.
Charges are allegations only. All arrested persons are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.