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Kouri Richins, Utah mom accused of fatally poisoning husband with fentanyl, faces more charges

A Utah woman accused of killing her husband with a lethal dose of fentanyl now faces more charges in the case -- including attempted aggravated murder for allegedly poisoning him a month before he died, according to a new court filing.

Kouri Richins, 33, was charged last year with aggravated murder and drug charges in connection with the death of her husband, Eric Richins, 39. She has yet to enter a plea to the charges but she denies the allegations.

A month prior to her arrest in May 2023, the mom of three appeared on a "Good Things Utah" segment on Salt Lake City ABC affiliate KTVX to promote a book. In the segment, Kouri Richins said her husband of nine years died "unexpectedly" and that his death "completely took us all by shock."

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Prosecutors allege in a new filing Monday that Eric Richins was initially poisoned on Valentine's Day, weeks before he died by a lethal dose of fentanyl on the night of March 3, 2022, according to the probable cause statement in the charging document.

Eric Richins purportedly "broke out into hives" after eating one bite of his "favorite sandwich" that his wife had bought for him from a diner, according to the charging document. He reportedly injected himself with his son's EpiPen, "drank a bottle of Benadryl" and went to sleep, according to the document.

"I think my wife tried to poison me," Eric Richins allegedly told a close friend later that day, the charging document stated.

PHOTO: Kouri Richins who is accused of poisoning her husband with a lethal dose of fentanyl appears in court for a detention hearing, June 12, 2023. (ABC News)
PHOTO: Kouri Richins who is accused of poisoning her husband with a lethal dose of fentanyl appears in court for a detention hearing, June 12, 2023. (ABC News)

Eric Richins did not have any food allergies, according to the charging document, which noted that "opioids, including fentanyl, can cause allergic and pseudoallergic reactions, to include hives."

In a text to a friend about the incident on June 18, 2022, Kouri Richins claimed her husband never broke out in hives or used an EpiPen, according to the charging document.

Kouri Richins' attorney, Skye Lazaro, said in a statement to ABC News in response to the new charges that her client "continues to maintain her innocence."

Lazaro said they have reviewed the amended information and that "there is nothing in the document that affects Kouri's approach to defending whatever charges the State levies against her."

Eric Richins was found dead in the couple's bedroom on March 4, 2022, nearly a month after the alleged Valentine's Day incident, prosecutors said. An autopsy determined that Eric Richins died from fentanyl intoxication, and that the level of fentanyl in his blood was approximately five times a lethal dosage, according to the charging document. The medical examiner determined the fentanyl was "illicit fentanyl," not medical grade, and that it was ingested orally, according to the charging document.

Kouri Richins allegedly told police following his death that she had made her and her husband Moscow Mules that night to celebrate "something at work" and that they drank them "sitting on the bed," according to the probable cause statement.

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Prosecutors allege she purchased illicit fentanyl days before both her husband's near-death experience on Valentine's Day 2022 and his death. She faces two counts of distribution of a controlled substance in the alleged poisoning incidents, according to the amended charging document. A third drug count from her previous charging document has been dropped, the new filing shows.

Kouri Richins was also newly charged with three counts of forgery, two counts of insurance fraud and two counts of mortgage fraud, according to the amended charging document.

Prosecutors allege that she forged her husband's signature on an insurance application weeks before he died. The insurance policy, which became effective 10 days before the alleged Valentine's Day poisoning, had a death benefit of $100,000, according to the charging document.

Prosecutors also claim she submitted falsified multiple bank statements when she applied for a mortgage with several companies in 2021.

At the time of her husband's death, Kouri Richins was "in financial distress" and owed hard money lenders more than $1.8 million in loans tied to house-flipping projects, according to the charging document. She was the beneficiary of multiple insurance policies on Eric Richins’ life that had death benefits worth a total of $1.35 million, according to the charging document. She mistakenly believed she was the beneficiary of another policy with a death benefit of $500,000 according to the charging document.

Kouri Richins remains detained as she awaits trial. A preliminary hearing in her case is scheduled for May 15.

ABC News' Lindsey Schwartz contributed to this report.

Kouri Richins, Utah mom accused of fatally poisoning husband with fentanyl, faces more charges originally appeared on abcnews.go.com