Gag order for Kouri Richins, children’s book author accused of murder

Posted at 3:00 PM, June 2, 2023 and last updated 8:31 PM, June 2, 2023


SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah (Court TV) – The judge in the case against children’s book author Kouri Richins has issued a partial gag order.

Prosecutors had requested restrictions in the form of a gag order due to “unanticipated and overwhelming” interest in the case. They filed the motion in the hopes of limiting all parties from talking to the media. However, Judge Richard Mrazik denied that motion, in part. Instead he ruled that the gag order will be in effect for attorneys in the case.

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)

Kouri Richins, 33, is accused of poisoning her husband, Eric Richins, with five times the lethal dosage of fentanyl in a cocktail she made for him in March 2022. One year after her husband’s death, Richins published a children’s book on grief, titled, “Are You With Me?”about a deceased father looking over his son. Kouri and Eric shared three sons together.

On May 31, prosecutors filed a motion asking the Court to issue a gag order in the case, citing intense media interest. In the motion, prosecutors cited the gag order issued in the case of Bryan Kohberger, who is accused of killing four University of Idaho students. In that case, a gag order forbids any party associated with the case from speaking to the media. There are currently open cases challenging the validity of the gag order in Idaho, including one filed by the Associated Press, which includes Court TV as a party.

MORE: Records: Children’s book author tried to poison husband multiple times

In its motion, the Summit County Attorney’s Office said it had been contacted by media outlets across the globe, as well as four filmmaking organizations that “expressed their intent to produce a ‘documentary’.”

Certain of these non-local media outlets have camped out in the public waiting area outside the Summit County Attorney’s Office, tried to get inside the jail to speak to the Defendant, contacted the jail and Sheriff’s Office staff asking absurd questions such as whether or not the Defendant is eating her food … contacted at least one key witness in the case asking to give statements, wooed the victim family’s private investigator with promises of a ‘handsome actor’ playing them in the upcoming production, and approached one of this Court’s clerks at a gas station asking her for information.

Prosecutors said no information was shared with the media in any of the instances laid out in the motion. However, prosecutors have said a review of Kouri’s jail calls reveals “she has been communicating with a documentary filmmaker, directly and through a friend.”

The Court issued a preliminary gag order, pending a hearing on Friday afternoon.