Divorce, financial ruin: Prosecutors detail evidence against Kouri Richins

Posted at 4:51 PM, May 13, 2024

PARK CITY, Utah (Court TV) — Prosecutors say they have evidence showing that Kouri Richins was in dire financial straits and was planning a future with an unnamed paramour — and they will be detailing it at a court hearing this week.

A woman in a blue shirt and hair in a messy bun sits in court

Kouri Richins appeared in court for a scheduling conference on Sept. 1, 2023. (Scripps News Salt Lake City)

Kouri Richins appeared in court for a closed hearing on Monday ahead of Wednesday’s preliminary hearing, where a judge ruled that some evidence prosecutors were seeking to introduce — including evidence that the defendant had looked into a divorce — would be fair game on Wednesday.

Kouri is charged with murdering her husband, Eric Richins, by spiking his drink with a lethal dose of fentanyl on March 3, 2022. She is also charged with forgery, insurance fraud and mortgage fraud, as prosecutors say she tried to profit from her husband’s death.

Court TV reviewed a brief authored by the prosecution outlining some of the explosive allegations the prosecution plans to present in court.


Prosecutors amended the complaint against Kouri to include multiple financial crimes in March, which accused her of forging her husband’s signature on documents. Among those documents was a home equity line of credit that was taken on Eric’s premarital home in March 2019. Prosecutors say he had no idea the loan existed until Oct. 2020.

Kouri had created a company, KRR, which she was using to “flip” homes, but prosecutors say that by 2021 the company was in the red and created “chaos” in her accounts. By December, she was obligated to pay approximately $398,000 a month in a “Byzantine collection of 94 separate payments, some weekly, some daily.” The month before her husband’s death, prosecutors say Kouri tried to withdraw more than $300,000 from one account, resulting in 198 separate overdraft and returned transaction fees. When Eric died, Kouri’s main business account balance was negative $5,734.55.


Prosecutors said in the filing that they have a mountain of evidence showing that Kouri was having an affair with a paramour, with whom she was planning a life without Eric long before his death. A witness, not identified by name, told investigators that while she was at the Richins’ home talking about her own divorce, Kouri began to talk about wanting to end her relationship with Eric.

“The Defendant told Witness 8 that she was frustrated because she didn’t feel that she had an easy path forward in divorcing Eric Richins. The Defendant said she was concerned that Eric Richins would turn her children against her and that his family would use their finances to take the children from her. The Defendant said she felt trapped and stuck in the marriage and didn’t see a way out. The Defendant said that in many ways it would be better if Eric Richins was dead.”

The judge said prosecutors will be allowed to introduce evidence that Kouri did look into getting a divorce, and had a law firm on retainer after receiving a consultation. In a phone call with her brother, Kouri allegedly said that she ended the consultation “because she didn’t ‘want … half of everything’ and ‘want[ed] to walk away …. clean and free.’ The Court, however, may reasonably infer that the opposite is true. The Defendant didn’t want half of everything. Rather, she wanted all of everything. Accordingly, she determined to cause Eric Richins’ death.”

Included in the texts that Kouri exchanged with her paramour, prosecutors say, were comments about a future marriage.

“[i]f I was divorced right now and ask (sic) you to marry me tomorrow, you would?”
“I just want to lay on the couch and cuddle you! Watch a murder documentary and snuggle!”
“I want you today, everyday. Not just sexually, but physically, mentally everyday when I wake up I do want a future together. I do want you. Figure life out together. If he could just go away and you could just be here! Life would be so perfect!!! I love you…”
“To me your (sic) worth millions a year.. I’m honored to be your friend ‘best’ friend actually.. lover ‘go to’ Life is going to be different I promise. Your (sic) one hell of a patient person.. I hate your hard days.. I wish I could be there to turn them around for you.. Can I try Friday? Give me a few days? Hang in there until then please?”

Days after the last text was sent, prosecutors say, Eric was dead.


Prosecutors say Kouri’s cell phone is evidence that she hasn’t been telling the truth about the night her husband died. Kouri has said that after Eric had a drink, she left her phone in their bedroom and then slept in one of their kid’s rooms because the child was having nightmares. When she returned, she said she found Eric dead.

But prosecutors say that the phone Kouri claims she left in her room was unlocked six times between 3:06 a.m. and 3:21 a.m., the latter being the time she placed the call to 911. The phone also traveled 370 feet over the 15 minute span.

Prosecutors say internet searches she performed on the phone in the days and weeks after Eric’s death included: “Utah State Prison — Timpanogos Women’s Facility”, “What Happens to Deleted Messages?”, “Cause of Death Usually Does Not Impact Life Insurance Payment”, “Signs of Being Under Federal Investigation,” “can cops force you to do a lie detector test”  and “if someone is poisned (sic) what does it go down on the death certificate as”.