Utah children’s book author accused in husband’s murder denied bail

Posted at 7:13 AM, June 12, 2023 and last updated 3:41 PM, June 15, 2023

By: Melanie Porter

PARK CITY, Utah (Scripps News Salt Lake City) — Kouri Richins, the Utah woman who is accused of killing her husband before authoring a children’s book on grief, was denied bail at a detention hearing Monday.

Richins appeared between her two attorneys Monday in front of a packed courthouse.

Kouri Richins appears in court for a detention hearing

Kouri Richins, a children’s book author accused of fatally poisoning her husband, appears in court for a detention hearing Monday, June 12, 2023. (Court TV)

She faces charges of criminal homicide, aggravated murder and three counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute in the 2022 death of her husband, Eric Richins.

Detective J. O’Driscoll was the first to testify. He recounted the investigation and revealed details about how fentanyl pills were allegedly obtained by Richins.

WATCH: Kouri Richins Detention Hearing: Detective Details Investigation 

At one point during the hearing, Richins appeared to be crying and bowed her head when O’Driscoll testified on how the body of her husband was found “cold to the touch” at their home.

Two other witnesses testified of their involvement in the investigation during the hearing, explaining how they used digital records, phone activity, documents and tax returns in the case.

WATCH: Kouri Richins Detention Hearing: P.I. Details Digital Evidence

Eric’s sister, Amy Richins also testified in the hearing, delivering a victim impact statement and saying he died under “horrendous circumstances” and that there was “no comfort to be had here.”

“The thought of it is unbearable,” Amy said. “I am haunted by the horror of it.”

WATCH: Sister of Eric Richins Claims Kouri Richins Attacked Her 

Ahead of the court appearance, Richins’ attorneys argued there was “no substantial evidence to support the charges.”

Documents released Friday report defense attorneys argue there “is no substantial evidence to support the charges” and ask that Richins be released she awaits trial in Park City.

At the same time, prosecutors describe internet search records on Richins’ phone as “incriminating,” with phrases such as “can cops force you to do a lie detector test?” “Luxury prisons for the rich in America,” “death certificate says pending, will life insurance still pay?” “If someone is poisoned what does it go down on the death certificate as,” and “How to permanently delete information from an iPhone remotely.”

The Summit County mother of three had been married to her husband for nine years at the time of his death in March 2022.

Richins told police that she made her husband an alcoholic beverage and brought it to him in their bedroom before later finding him “cold to the touch.”

Deputies found Eric dead at the foot of his bed and an autopsy later revealed he died from an overdose of fentanyl, with the medical examiner claiming he had about five times the lethal dosage in his system at the time of death.

WATCH: Kouri Richins Detention Hearing: P.I. Details Digital Evidence

During the subsequent investigation, an acquaintance of Kouri’s reported that she asked for “some prescription pain medication for an investor who had a back injury,” and later “some of the Michael Jackson stuff.”

A house where Kouri Richins, and Eric Richins lived

FILE – A house where Kouri Richins and Eric Richins lived is shown, May 11, 2023, in Francis, Utah. Kouri Richins, the woman who wrote a children’s book about grief after her husband’s death and was later arrested on accusations of killing him. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Days after she received fentanyl pills, documents report the Richins has dinner and home when Eric became “very ill” and told a friend he believed his wife was trying to poison him.”

A search warrant obtained by Scripps News Salt Lake City detailed that Eric thought his wife tried to poison him when they were in Greece a few years prior when his wife made him a drink and a sandwich, to which he had bad reactions.

Shortly before his death, Eric changed his will and life insurance police without telling his wife, documents report.

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This story was originally published by Scripps News Salt Lake City, an E.W. Scripps Company.