SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4) — Kouri Richins, a Kamas woman who wrote a children’s book about coping with grief after her husband’s death, became a national celebrity; but not for her book. Richins is on trial for the murder of her deceased husband.
Kouri Richins, 33, is charged with aggravated murder, a first-degree felony, and three counts of possession with intent to distribute.
Here is a timeline of events with information from court documents, and civil cases.
June 15, 2013: Kouri and Eric Richins married. Kouri and Eric signed a prenup that outlined several financial agreements for their marriage. It detailed that they would remain in Eric’s ownership if they divorced. However, Kouri could claim ownership of some of the assets if “[Eric] should die prior to [Kouri] while the two are lawfully married,” the prenup states.
The list of assets included Eric’s 50 percent ownership interest in C&E Stone Masonry, LLC, a forklift, skidster, scaffolding and saws, two trucks, and a dump trailer.
2015-2017: Kouri allegedly purchased at least four life insurance policies on Eric’s life with aggregate death benefits of $1,947. According to a petition filed by Eric’s sister, Katie Richins Benson, Kouri began having financial troubles and possibly began stealing money from Eric to help with buying and selling homes.
March 2019: According to Katie’s petition, Kouri opened a bank account without Eric’s knowledge or consent which had a revolving line of credit, and borrowed $250,000. She allegedly did this with a Deed of Trust in which Kouri signed Eric’s signature.
September 2020: According to Katie’s petition, Eric learned Kouri had withdrawn $100,000 from his bank accounts, allegedly borrowed $30,000 in total on his credit cards, and borrowed money using fraudulent Power of Attorney. He allegedly confronted Kouri, and she promised to pay it back. However, she never alleged did.
According to Katie, In total, Kouri Richins allegedly stole, or misused approximately $494,000 of Eric’s money, the petition asserted. This does not include Kouri’s claim for over $3.6 million.
October 2020: Eric reportedly consulted a divorce lawyer and an estate planning lawyer. He changed his will and formed the Eric Richins Living Trust, and placed his estate under the control of his sister Katie Richins-Benson for the primary benefit of his three children. He also transferred his partnership interest in his business to his Trust and designated the Trust as the beneficiary of his $500,000 life insurance policy instead of Kouri.
November 2020: Eric signed a will that included their three kids.
January 1, 2022: Kouri allegedly changed the beneficiary for Eric Richins’ $2 million life insurance policy to herself ‘without authorization.’ The original beneficiary was Eric’s business partner. This came to the attention of the insurance holder, and Eric’s business partner was restored as beneficiary.
Late-January 2022: Kouri reportedly contacted her friend several times asking if she could get a prescription pain medication for an investor who had a back injury. Some hydrocodone pills were left at a Midway house that Kouri was flipping, and Kouri allegedly left cash for them.
February 11, 2022: Kouri then reportedly reached out to the same friend and asked if she could get something stronger — “some of the Michael Jackson stuff,” Kouri stated, meaning she specifically asked her friend for fentanyl. The friend gave Kouri 15-20 fentanyl pills, which Kouri reportedly paid $900 for.
February 14, 2022: Eric and Kouri had a Valentine’s Day dinner at their Kamas home, the charging documents stated. Shortly after the dinner, Eric allegedly became very ill and told a friend he thought his wife was trying to poison him.
February 26, 2022: Kouri reportedly contacted her friend again and asked for another $900 worth of fentanyl pills. The friend left the pills at the same Midway house.
March 3, 2022: Kouri said she and Eric were celebrating her closing on a house for her business. She said she made Eric a Moscow Mule in the kitchen and brought it to their bedroom where he drank it in bed. He also consumed a THC gummy.
Kouri said shortly after, she went to put one of her children to bed and fell asleep.
March 4, 2022: Kouri said she allegedly woke up around 3:22 a.m. and found Eric Richins deceased at the foot of their bed, and called 911.
She claimed that she left her phone plugged in in her bedroom while she was with her child, however, her phone showed it was locked and unlocked multiple times, and there was movement on the phone. Several messages were also sent and received during this time window, but those messages were deleted.
Following an autopsy, it was determined that Eric died from an overdose of illicit fentanyl. The medical examiner said the amount of fentanyl in his system was approximately five times the lethal dosage. According to the medical examiner, the fentanyl was ingested orally.
February 2023: Kouri filed a claim against Eric’s trust, contesting Eric’s sister as his personal representative of his trust.
May 8, 2023: Kouri was arrested for aggravated murder and three counts of possession of drugs with intent to distribute.
April 19, 2023: Kouri emailed Summit County to explain her “exotic vacations” since her husband’s passing, his alleged affair, her mental health, their ‘lack of financial problems,’ and her work ambitions. You can read more about what she said here.
June 9, 2023: Kouri filed a civil lawsuit against Eric’s estate alleging she deserves several monetary and/or physical assets according to their prenup.
Charges are allegations only. All arrested persons are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.