Grief author’s antipsychotic drug was found in husband’s system, court filings show

Wife Charged Children's Grief Book (ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Wife Charged Children's Grief Book (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

A Utah man who was allegedly poisoned to death by his wife also had antipsychotic medication in his system at the time of his death, according to a newly unsealed affidavit.

Kouri Richins, 33, is accused of killing her husband of seven years, Eric Richins, by slipping a lethal dose of fentanyl into a Moscow Mule during a small gathering at the Richins’ home in the city of Kamas.

Ms Richins, who self-published a children’s book about grief based on her children’s experiences after they lost their father, is facing a charge of aggravated murder and three counts of drug possession in her husband’s March 2022 death.

An affidavit unsealed this week revealed that Richins also had a small amount of Quetiapine, a drug prescribed to patients with mood disorders, in his stomach, NBC reports. The prescription seemingly belonged to Ms Richins, who told deputies with the Summit County Sheriff’s Office that she used the medication to sleep.

The medical examiner noted in the affidavit for a search warrant that Quetiapine is not used as a sleeping aid. The warrant sought to seize Ms Richin’s medical records and was part of a batch of filings ordered to remain sealed for six months before they were released last week.

It remains unclear whether the warrant was served.

Following her husband’s death on 4 March 2022, Ms Richins self-published a children’s book. The book — titled Are You With Me? — features an angelic father watching over his children from heaven after his death. She appeared on a local TV show to promote the book just weeks before she was taken into custody in May 2023.

Prosecutors have claimed that Ms Richins had previously tried to poison her husband after he found out she was in debt.

Ms Richins reportedly took out at least four life insurance policies on her husband before she allegedly poisoned him. According to documents previously presented in court, Richins had consulted a divorce attorney after learning that his wife was more than $2m in debt.

On Valentine’s Day 2022, she allegedly “prepared a sandwich for Eric Richins and placed it on the seat of his truck with a love note”.

Richins reportedly broke out in hives and later told a friend that he believed his wife had tried to poison him.

Prosecutors believe that Ms Richins then procured illicit fentanyl and drugged a Moscow Mule she made for her husband.

An analysis of her phone found that searches on Ms Richin’s iPhone included “Can cops force you to do a lie detector test?”, “Luxury prisons for the rich in America” and “If someone is poisoned what does it go down on the death certificate as,” KCRA reported.

Ms Richins has denied the allegations against her.

Prosecutors announced the state would not be seeking the death penalty in the case.