Filing: Kouri Richins texted secret ‘paramour’ the night her husband died

Posted at 4:39 PM, March 28, 2024

SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah (Court TV) – Kouri Richins, the Utah mother accused of killing her husband with a fentanyl-laced cocktail, may have been texting a secret love interest the night her husband died, according to court documents released this week.

Kouri Richins appears for a bail hearing

Kouri Richins, a Utah mother of three who authorities say fatally poisoned her husband then wrote a children’s book about grieving, looks on during a bail hearing Monday, June 12, 2023, in Park City, Utah. A judge ruled to keep her in custody for the duration of her trial. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, Pool)

Three separate references to an anonymous person whom prosecutors called “her Paramour” were made in the Mar. 26 filings that added seven more charges to Kouri’s rap sheet, including two counts of mortgage fraud, two counts of insurance fraud, and three counts of forgery.

On March 3, 2022, the night of Eric Richins’s death, prosecutors say Kouri’s “Paramour” texted her a photograph of two people kissing that was captioned, “Love you.” Then, a little more than an hour later, Kouri allegedly responded, “…love you 😘”

Later that night, Kouri told investigators that she made herself and Eric each a celebratory drink that they drank “sitting in the bed.” They went to sleep shortly after, but Eric never woke up again.

Prosecutors believe it was the drink that killed him: a Moscow Mule laced with illicit fentanyl that was five times the lethal limit, as well as a sedative antipsychotic medication called Quetiapine, which had been prescribed to Kouri Richins.

The Valentine’s Day Incident

According to authorities, this wasn’t Kouri’s first attempt on her husband’s life or the first exchange with her secret “Paramour.”

On Valentine’s Day of 2022, Kouri allegedly purchased a sandwich for Eric from “The Diner” and left it for him on the seat of his truck. Eric told a witness that the sandwich caused him to break out in hives after one bite. He said he had to use his son’s Epipen and drink a bottle of Benadryl before taking a two-hour nap. When Eric woke up, he allegedly told another witness that he thought he was going to die and said, “I think my wife tried to poison me.”

That same morning, prosecutors say Kouri texted her “Paramour,” saying, “Headed that way…” along with a screenshot of her cell phone’s navigation app, which showed her projected arrival to an unknown destination at 10:47 a.m.

When Eric texted Kouri at 1:43 p.m., asking, “Are you home?” Kouri replied, “No in Provo, waiting for my cabinet installer guy…”

Flash forward three and a half months after Eric’s death; Prosecutors say Kouri texted her best friend with an entirely different account of the Valentine’s Day incident, writing,

“It was Valentine’s Day and Eric and I were both working from home that day and I ordered lunch from [the Diner]!!!!!!!! He never broke out in hives or used an epi pen!! I was (expletive) with him! … He said the sandwich hurt his stomach so he was going to take a nap! No hives, no epi pen!”

The Richins Family Feud

A house where Kouri Richins, and Eric Richins lived

A house where Kouri Richins, and Eric Richins lived, is shown Thursday, May 11, 2023, in Francis, Utah. Prosecutors say Kouri Richins, 33, poisoned her husband, Eric Richins, 39, by slipping five times the lethal dose of fentanyl into a cocktail she made for him in March 2022. The mother of three later self-published a children’s book titled “Are You with Me?” about an angel wing-clad deceased father watching over his sons. She promoted it on television and radio, describing the book as a way to help children grieve the loss of a loved one. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

The third mention of the “Paramour” occurred in the immediate aftermath of Eric’s death after his sister, Amy Richins, got into an argument with Kouri that ended in Amy being struck several times. Amy allegedly told Kouri that Eric had placed their home into a trust and that Eric’s sister, Katie Richins-Benson, was the trustee.

MORE: Sister of Eric Richins Claims Kouri Richins Attacked Her

Following the fight, Kouri sent a text message to her “Paramour,” saying:

“I lost in (sic) on eric’s sister finally and punched her.. (sic) couple of times 😡 my brother ripped me off of her before it got too intense.. (sic) she called the cops. It was at my own house because I told her to leave and she wouldn’t! Said this is her brothers (sic) and she didn’t have to. So I said get out or I’ll get you out.. (sic).”

The Alleged Affairs

Kouri was arrested in May, a little more than a year after Eric’s death on March 4, 2022. Before her arrest, she had been cooperating with investigators and sent them an email, which was later shared with Court TV by the attorney representing the Richins family, Greg Skordas.

In the email, Kouri did not say it was her having an affair; rather, it was her husband doing the cheating — allegations Skordas says were “simply untrue.”

“Eric’s affair was the same year I “moved out,” the trust was created as well as him looking into a divorce,” Kouri wrote.

She clarified that she had never actually spent a night outside the family home but that she moved her clothes out one weekend to make her husband understand that she was serious about leaving him if things didn’t end with the other woman, whose name was redacted.

Kouri concludes her letter to investigators saying despite everything, the couple had gone to counseling a handful of times and worked through their issues.

“I just want this over, I just want our lives back and to move on and grieve and mourn my husband without looking over my shoulder constantly for you guys, or the idiotic Private Investigator or the Richins family. Whatever I can do to help close this out, just ask I’ll give you or tell you whatever you want to know!”

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