Utah author arrested, accused of murdering husband

May 8, 2023, 6:04 PM | Updated: May 9, 2023, 12:16 pm

SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah — The author of “Are You With Me?” faces murder charges for the death of her husband, Eric Richins, in 2022, according to just-released court documents.

Kouri Darden Richins, 33, is facing first-degree aggravated murder and three second-degree felony charges of possessing a controlled substance with the intent to distribute.

On March 4, 2022, at approximately 3:22 a.m., Summit County first responders responded to an unresponsive man at a home near 280 Willow Court.

“When they arrived, they found Eric on the floor at the foot of his bed,” court documents stated. “Life-saving measures were attempted, but Eric was declared deceased.”

In a police interview, Kouri said that she and Eric were celebrating the closing of a house for her business before heading to bed. She said she made a Moscow Mule for Eric, and he drank it.

According to court documents, Kouri left their bedroom to tend to one of their children and ended up sleeping in the child’s room.

“(Kouri) said she awoke around 3 a.m. and came back to her and Eric’s bedroom. She felt Eric, and he was cold to the touch. That is when the defendant called 911,” stated court documents.

Kouri told police that she left her phone in their bedroom, but phone records show that her cell phone was active while in the child’s bedroom.

“In addition, tolls on the defendant’s phone show that messages were sent and received during that time. These messages were deleted,” according to court documents.

A medical examiner performed an autopsy on Eric and determined that he died from a fentanyl overdose.

The examiner’s report stated that the fentanyl was “illicit” and not medical grade. Eric had taken the fentanyl orally at approximately five times the lethal dosage.

According to court documents, police obtained a search warrant for Kouri’s phone and computers, which showed several communications with an acquaintance of Kouri.

Police found that the acquaintance had multiple counts of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and other drug-related charges.

On May 2, Summit County detectives interviewed Kouri’s acquaintance, and they said that Kouri asked for “prescription pain medication for an investor” sometime between December 2021 and February 2022. During that time frame, Kouri received the medication, according to the court documents.

“(Kouri) told (the acquaintance) to leave the pills at a house defendant was flipping in Midway, Utah. (The acquaintance) left the pills at the house, and the defendant left cash for them,” stated court documents.

The acquaintance said that Kouri contacted them two weeks later and said that her investor wanted “something stronger and asked for ‘some of the Michael Jackson stuff,'” specifically fentanyl.

In February 2022, the acquaintance contacted a dealer in Ogden, Utah, and got 15 to 30 fentanyl pills. Kouri went to the acquaintance’s home in Summit County and paid them $900.

According to court documents, Eric became ill after a Valentine’s Day dinner at the couple’s home. The victim believed Kouri had poisoned him, and he told a friend.

About two weeks later, Kouri contacted her acquaintance, who got her another round of fentanyl pills for $900.

“The defendant told (the acquaintance) to leave the pills at the outdoor fire pit of the Midway, Utah house where there was cash waiting for her,” stated court documents. A few days later, Eric died of a fentanyl overdose.

According to Eric’s obituary, he and Kouri were married for nine years and had three children.

After Eric’s death, Kouri wrote a book about losing him “unexpectedly” and processing the loss, according to a KPCW story. On Tuesday, Amazon pulled the book from its website.

KSL 5 TV Live


A Salt Lake City police officer, left, takes a person into custody after the man sold drugs to unde...

Mark Jones

Two-day drug operation along Jordan River Trail leads to more than 20 arrests, SLCPD says

More than 20 people were arrested during a two-day drug interdiction operation earlier this month along the Jordan River Park Trail.

21 hours ago

A Clearfield City police truck is in the snow...

Carlysle Price

18-year-old hospitalized after Clearfield shooting

Clearfield City Police Department said an 18-year-old was shot Friday night in a shooting between a group of adults and juveniles.

1 day ago

An SLCPD car with it's lights on. (Salt Lake City Police Department)...

Carlysle Price

SLCPD arrest fugitive shooting suspect

The Salt Lake City Police Department said a fugitive suspect wanted in connection to a shooting in February was arrested Friday, according to a press release.

1 day ago

Handcuffs in a jail cell. (Ravell Call/Deseret News)...

Michael Houck

State employee arrested, accused of having sex with a teenager

A man who works for Utah Department of Government Operations was arrested and accused of giving a teenager drugs and having sex with her.

2 days ago

The Supreme Court decided Friday to uphold a federal gun control law that is meant to protect victi...

Brian Carlson

Supreme Court upholds gun law intended to protect domestic violence victims

The Supreme Court decided Friday to uphold a federal gun control law that is meant to protect victims of domestic violence. The law prevents people with a domestic violence restraining order from having a gun.

2 days ago

The American Fork couple who was found dead in apparent murder-suicide on June 19, 2024....

Michael Houck and Lindsay Aerts, KSL TV

American Fork police rule married couple deaths as murder-suicide

Police have released the identities of the married couple found dead in American Fork Thursday and are ruling it was a murder-suicide. 

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Utah author arrested, accused of murdering husband