In a significant development, prosecutors have announced that Kouri Richins, a Utah mom of three and author of a grief-themed book, will not face the death penalty in the case involving the death of her husband. Summit County prosecutors filed a notice in Utah's 3rd District Court on Friday, stating that the decision was made after careful consultation with Eric Richins' sisters and father, as reported by CNN. Kouri, 33, was arrested in May on charges of first-degree aggravated murder and multiple counts of second-degree possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute. However, her murder charge has now been downgraded to a noncapital first-degree felony, according to the prosecutors.
The incident in question occurred on March 4, 2022, when Eric Richins, aged 39, tragically passed away. He was allegedly killed by his wife, Kouri Richins, who is accused of lacing his Moscow mule with a deadly amount of fentanyl. The motive behind the crime is believed to be the suspicion of an extramarital affair on Eric's part. Greg Skordas, the family attorney, revealed that Eric had previously confided in a friend about his concerns that his wife was attempting to poison him, following an illness he experienced after a Valentine's Day dinner the previous month.
Adding another layer of complexity to the case, it was discovered that Kouri had written a heart-wrenching book called "Are You With Me?" a year after allegedly killing her husband. The book explores themes of grief and loss, which strikes a chilling contrast to the circumstances surrounding Eric's death. The tragedy occurred just a day before Kouri closed on a $2 million deal to purchase a sprawling 22,000-square-foot home. However, Eric had reportedly refused to contribute to this purchase. This development has become significant as Kouri is now suing Eric's estate, claiming that she deserves the money and physical assets outlined in their prenuptial agreement. The civil lawsuit, filed on June 9, seeks half the equity in their home, which is estimated to be worth at least $1.9 million. Despite the legal title being in Eric's name, mortgage payments were made from their joint account.
The legal battles surrounding this case do not end there. Eric's sister, Katie Richins, has filed a $13 million lawsuit against Kouri, accusing her of attempting to profit from Eric's passing. Katie alleges that Kouri siphoned funds from Eric's bank accounts, diverted money intended for his taxes, and fraudulently obtained a $250,000 loan before his death. Furthermore, Kouri is accused in the civil suit of taking out secret insurance policies on her husband's life. Eric's estate is seeking millions of dollars in damages from Kouri for alleged financial wrongdoing and is also seeking to prevent the sale of her book, which depicts an angel-wing-clad deceased father watching over his children.
The case against Kouri has been highly contentious, with her lawyers vehemently denying the allegations. In a court filing in June, they stated that no substantial evidence had been presented to support the charges against their client. They argued that there had been no text messages or other documents provided to validate the claim that Eric believed Kouri had attempted to poison him. The defense maintained that there was a lack of substantial evidence to support the allegations.
This case has captured national attention due to the shocking nature of the alleged crime, the subsequent legal battles, and Kouri's status as a published author. The decision not to pursue the death penalty against Kouri Richins marks a significant development in the ongoing legal proceedings, leaving many eager to see how the case will unfold moving forward.