Kouri Richins, the Utah mom accused of spiking her husband’s Moscow mule with a lethal dose of fentanyl and then writing a kids’ book about grief, appears to be in even more trouble.
In a new court filing, prosecutors alleged that deputies in the Summit County jail searched Richins’ cell last week and found a six-page, handwritten letter for her mom that detailed a brazen plan to tamper with a witness in her case.
The letter, allegedly found hidden inside a book, started with the words “Walk The Dog!!” But it then went on to discuss the evidence in her case at length, including testimony she wanted her brother, Ronald, to give that implied Richins’ husband was addicted to pain medication and likely killed himself.
Richins wrote that her lawyers wanted to link her husband, Eric, “getting drugs and pills from Mexico” to the fentanyl that killed him, but they needed “some kind of connection.”
“Here is what I’m thinking BUT you have to talk to Ronney,” she wrote, according to a copy of the letter included in prosecutors’ filing.
She then outlined a version of events in which Ronald was watching football with Eric one Sunday about a year before Eric’s death. Eric told Ronald “that he got Pain Pills and fentanyl from Mexico from the workers at the ranch,” she wrote. Eric told Ronald not to tell his wife “because I would get mad because I always said he just gets high every night and won’t help take care of the kids (there are photos in my phone of [E]ric passed out on the floor or in the chair),” she continued.
She went on to claim Eric “didn’t want anyone to know he had an issue” and would often travel with drugs in Richins’ bag so that she would take the fall. “She was pissed he would risk her going to jail for his drug use. He just would laugh about it,” Richins wrote, paraphrasing Ronald’s testimony.
“Reword this however he needs to, to make the point,” she wrote. “The connection has to be made with Mexico and drugs. Ronney will have the messages to prove Eric confided in him about getting high.”
She suggested her mom meet up with Ronald to discuss the testimony in person, as she feared her mom’s house and phone was bugged.
“Tell him I need him to do this. Bring me home and then we will get those damn bitches!” she wrote.
Prosecutors said the entire narrative is a lie and that the letter is evidence of witness tampering. They said it was unclear if the letter ever made it to Richins’ mom but, during a video call last week, Richins “held up yet another letter” for her mom to see that was not found in Richins’ cell. They requested that a judge slap Richins with a no-contact order for both her mother and brother.
In a reply to the no-contact request, Richins’ attorney argued that the state violated a gag order by including the full letter in its filing and potentially tainting a jury pool.
Before her arrest last year, Richins had parlayed her husband’s seemingly tragic death in March 2022 into a fledging career as a kids’ book author, even appearing on TV to hawk her book, Are You With Me?, which depicts her late spouse with a halo and angel wings.
But it quickly unraveled when she was arrested in May 2023 for aggravated murder and drug offenses.
Authorities have since outlined a slew of evidence against Richins. Eric had contacted divorce and estate planning lawyers and altered his will to make his sister the primary beneficiary shortly before his death, prosecutors say. In turn, Kouri Richins had allegedly taken out nearly $2 million in life insurance policies against him, spent a $250,000 home equity line of credit on the home she and her husband shared, and pulled at least $130,000 more from his bank accounts and credit cards.
Prosecutors say she contacted an acquaintance asking for powerful pain medication—“some of the Michael Jackson stuff”—weeks before she made him a bedtime cocktail that contained five times the lethal dose of fentanyl. After he died, she allegedly searched terms online like whether police can see deleted messages, how long life insurance companies take to pay, “luxury prisons for the rich in America,” “What is considered non-natural manner of death,” and “Kouri Richins Kamas net worth.”