Mormon mom accused of poisoning husband 'hosted large house party'

Mormon mom accused of poisoning husband with fentanyl-laced Moscow Mule allegedly hosted large house party day after his death to celebrate closing on $2 million home

  • Eric Richins, 39, was said to have had concerns about his wife’s plan to purchase a $2million home and renovate it for $4 to $6million
  • Family members said he was not planning on signing the deed
  • But one day after he died, his wife, Kouri, signed the closing papers on the 10-acre property and invited her friends over for a party at her house

The Mormon mother accused of poisoning her husband with a fentanyl-laced Moscow Mule last year allegedly hosted a large house party just one day after he died.

Kouri Richins, 33, and her husband, Eric, 39, had been arguing about her plans to purchase and flip a $2million home in the days before he was found dead at their home in Kamas on March 4, 2022, according to court documents.

But just one day after his death, affidavits for search warrants show, Kouri signed the closing papers on the 10-acre property and invited her friends over for a party at her house where she was drinking and celebrating.

Authorities now say Kouri poisoned Eric with a lethal amount of fentanyl in his Moscow Mule on March 3 in an apparent effort to get money from his life insurance policy, only to later write a children’s book about grief for her three young sons. 

Kouri is now facing charges of aggravated murder and three counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.

Kouri Richins, left, is accused of poisoning her husband, Eric Richins, right, by giving him a Moscow Mule on March 3, 2022 filled with fentanyl

The couple had apparently been arguing about Kouri’s plans to buy and flip a $2million home (pictured) 

Prior to his death, family members said Eric had changed his will to make his sister the sole beneficiary of his life insurance policy and was even thinking of getting a divorce from Kouri.

Family attorney and spokesperson Greg Skordas first told Eric was afraid Kouriwas trying to kill him after two separate instances in which he became violently ill after drinking or eating with his wife.

In one instance, one of Eric’s two sisters said, he and his wife were on a trip to Greece about three years ago when she got a phone call from her brother.

He claimed Kouri gave him a drink that made him feel violently ill, and said he believed she had tried to kill him. 

By January 2022, authorities say, Kouri changed Eric’s joint life insurance policy, which he shared with his business partner Cody Wright, so that she was the only beneficiary. 

But when the insurance company told the partners, who own the business C&E Stone Masonry, of the change, they were able to change it back. 

After finding out that Richins had tried to change his life insurance policy, Eric changed the beneficiary of his will and his power of attorney to his sister without telling his wife because he was scared she might ‘kill him for the money’, a warrant states. 

Then on Valentine’s Day 2022, family members said, Kouri brought Eric a sandwich — and after just one bite, he broke out into hives and couldn’t breathe.

He had to use his son’s epi-pen and Benadryl to recover, and passed out for several hours. 

A medical examiner said they found five times the lethal dose of fentanyl – a painkiller 100 times stronger than morphine – in Eric’s system after he died on March 4 last year. Pictured: Richins and Eric with one of their sons

Eric’s family told investigators shortly after he died they suspected Richins had killed the father-of-three. Pictured: Kouri and Eric Richens with their three children

Eric had even been thinking of getting a divorce from Kouri prior to his death, family members said, but decided to stay in the marriage for the sake of his young sons. 

‘They had three boys, three young boys, and  think Eric, being so involved in their lives as a soccer coach, baseball coach, basketball coach, wanted to keep the family together,’ Skordas said.

‘Eric was a good father… He was a philanthropist,’ Skordas added. ‘He cared about a lot of people’ and ‘he did the best he could to make the most of his marriage.’

Still, he is said to have had financial concerns about Kouri’s $4 to $6million renovation of a home that could sleep 60 people.

In fact, family members say he was not planning to sign the deed, but had not yet told Kouri before he died. 

But following his death, those plans were set to move forward.

Kouri had planned to buy the $2million home and renovate it for $4 to $6million, but Eric had financial concerns and did not want to sign the deed, family members say

Kouri told investigators at the scene she and her husband were celebrating because she had just closed on a home for her real estate business 

At the time of Eric’s death, Kouri had told investigators she and her husband were celebrating the night before he died because she had just closed on a home for her real estate business.

She said she made him a Moscow Mule in the kitchen and took it to the bedroom, where he drank it in bed.

Kouri had said she was not in the bedroom while Eric was drinking the cocktail, because she decided to sleep in one of her son’s bedrooms after he had a nightmare. 

She then claimed that she woke up at around 3am an found her husband in the bedroom ‘cold to the touch’ and called 911. She also said she attempted to perform CPR on her husband while first responders were on their way.

And, she told deputies that she left her cellphone in the bedroom and did not take it into the child’s room with her.

But investigators later learned that her phone had been locked and unlocked several times during the night, and she was texting a friend back and forth. 

Those messages have since been deleted.

Fire crew and medics who responded to the scene also said it was unlikely that she did try to perform life-saving measures, as there was blood coming from Eric’s mouth when they arrived on the scene.

She claimed she performed CPR on her husband after she found him ‘cold to the touch’ but first responders said that was unlikely

Following his death, Richins wrote ‘Are you with me?’ – a picture book she wrote to help children cope after the death of a loved one

The $14.99 book was available on Amazon and is dedicated to Eric Richins 

An ensuing autopsy and toxicology report later concluded that Eric died of a fentanyl overdose, with the Summit County Medical Examiner saying he had five times the lethal dosage in his system. 

In the aftermath, an unnamed acquaintance came forward to reveal he sold Kouri the fentanyl.

Court documents say she had bought $900 worth of fentanyl pills from the acquaintance before Valentine’s Day 2022 and again two weeks later.

She is said to have asked for the ‘Michael Jackson stuff.’

After he died, Kouri claimed he  had an addiction to pain medicine in high school but there was no substance abuse issues since.

But friends and family told police said they hadn’t any idea of Eric being addicted to any form of medicine, and officers did not find any pain killers in the family home.

The family is now happy that charges have finally been filed against Kouri, Skordas said, and are hopeful that ‘justice will be served.’ 

Last month, Kouri appeared on the local news network to promote her children’s book

The anchors commended her for being an amazing mother to her three sons

Kouri remains in the custody of Summit County Sheriff’s Deputies awaiting her next court appearance.

Just last month, she appeared on a local TV station to promote her $14.99 book, Are You With Me?’

Video of that appearance shows her referring to her husband’s death as a ‘shock’, and talking wistfully about how she was guiding their three sons through grief. 

‘My husband passed away unexpectedly last year. March 4 was a one year anniversary for us, he was 39. 

‘It completely took us all by shock,’ she said. 

‘We have three little boys, 10, nine and six, and my kids and I kind of wrote this book on the different emotions and grieving processes that we’ve experienced in the last year.’ 

She said she was motivated to write the book after searching Amazon and Barnes and Noble and finding ‘nothing’ to help them ‘cope’. 

‘I went on Amazon and Barnes and Noble to try to find something to help us cope at night, nights are the hardest. I just wanted some story to read to my kids at night and I couldn’t find anything that suited them, so I was like “let’s just write one.”‘ 

For children, Richins said, grieving was about ‘making sure that their spirit is always alive in your home.’

‘It’s – you know – explaining to my kid just because he’s not present here with us physically, doesn’t mean his presence isn’t here with us,’ she told the anchors, who commended her for being an amazing mother.

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