SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) — Following a hearing on Friday, Kouri Richins’ brother shared his thoughts about the murder case, saying his sister is innocent and expressing concern about finding an impartial jury.
Richins’ brother, Ronnie Darden, spoke publicly on the case after the court denied a motion to dismiss Richins’ murder trial. Richins, a Utah mother and children’s book author, has been accused of killing her husband, Eric Richins, with fentanyl, a claim her family says is false.
Darden said he is certain Richins is innocent because he knows his sister, adding that “she can’t even squash a spider.” He said she loved her husband and her family more than anything, and before Eric’s passing, the couple was in the best spot in their relationship that he had seen over the years.
While he said the allegations have “nothing substantial on her” and that he has “complete confidence that we have all of the proof to disprove everything else that they’re trying to claim,” he said the family is worried about finding an impartial jury due to the public attention on the case.
“My biggest fear that we have is really finding a jury pool that hasn’t already been tainted by the prosecution,” he said. “There’s been a lot negatively said about her. And, again, we’ve got claims to counter literally everything they’re trying to say, but that’s not being put into the public eye yet because we’re waiting for court.”
In addition to the family’s concern about finding an impartial jury pool, they also expressed worries about Richins’ emotional health.
“We are just getting really worried for Kouri, for her emotional state at this point,” Darden said. “She is being isolated from talking to almost everyone. She’s not being allowed to have visits right now. We’re getting really worried with the way that she’s being treated in there.”
He said he is one of the closest people to Richins’ family and that he talks to his sister every day. He also said Richins is allowed to speak with her children for 30 minutes twice a week. He said she misses them and it is becoming apparent that her absence “is really taking a toll” on her sons.
“It just breaks our heart that she’s going through this,” Darden said. “But I think that she’s strong enough to get through it because she knows the truth is on her side.”