Kouri Richins Murder Case: How Author Allegedly Tried to Poison Husband With Valentine's Day Sandwich

Children's book author Kouri Richins, who is facing murder charges after the death of her husband, has been accused of attempting to kill her husband weeks before he died of a lethal drug overdose.

By Corinne Heller Mar 27, 2024 8:26 PMTags
Watch: Utah Author Kouri Richins Allegedly Tried to Poison Husband With Sandwich

Author Kouri Richins is accused of attempting to kill her husband with a poisoned sandwich before allegedly murdering him with a drink spiked with fentanyl.

Less than a month before Eric Richins was found dead at the foot of the couple's bed in Kamas, Utah, in March 2022, he "nearly died on Valentine's Day," according to new charging documents released March 25 and obtained by NBC News.

Kouri, who wrote about grieving a loved one in her children's book Are You With Me? following her husband's death, was charged with aggravated murder. In the new charging documents, Kouri is now also accused of attempted aggravated murder in connection to the Valentine's Day incident.

According to the filing, Kouri phoned a local diner on the morning Feb. 14, 2022 and a statement from their bank account shows a $41.29 purchase was made there that day. Later that morning, Eric texted his wife, who was away from the home at the time, saying he felt unwell.

Biggest Unsolved Murder Mysteries

That afternoon, he texted two close friends, saying Kouri had left him a note and a sandwich from his favorite diner and that after he ate some of it, he broke out in hives. He told one of the friends, "I think my wife tried to poison me," the documents state, adding that Eric had no food allergies.

According to the charging documents, the following June, three months after his death, Kouri recounted the sandwich incident while texting a friend, writing, "He said the sandwich hurt his stomach so he was going to take a nap! No hives, no epi pen!"

In addition to her attempted murder charge, Kouri also faces three counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, two counts of mortgage fraud, two counts of insurance fraud and three counts of forgery. In the latest filing, prosecutors allege she was in financial distress at the time of Eric's death and she is accused of fraudulently claiming insurance benefits after he died.

In response to the new filing, Kouri's attorney Skye Lazaro told NBC News in a statement, "There is nothing in the document that affects Kouri's approach to defending whatever charges the State levies against her. She continues to maintain her innocence."


Kouri—who shares three sons with Eric—is accused of killing her husband with a lethal dose of fentanyl, which an autopsy had showed was the cause of his death and was ingested orally. Kouri had told police that she and her husband had had Moscow Mules together the night before he died and he had told her that night he also took a THC gummy, which she believed contained fentanyl, the new documents say. However, toxicology reports found no THC in his system and tests showed no fentanyl in the gummies found at their home.

Kouri, a real estate agent, allegedly obtained the fentanyl that killed Eric through an unnamed woman who occasionally worked for her by cleaning houses, the charging documents state. The person told law enforcement that the defendant had asked her to procure the drug for her and that she bought fentanyl pills from a dealer.

AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, Pool

Kouri was arrested in May 2023 on suspicion of murdering Eric, whom she wed in 2013, and has yet to enter a plea to the charges.

E! News has reached out for comment from Kouri's attorney and has not heard back.

(E! and NBC News are part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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