Kamas woman charged with murdering husband is found guilty of assaulting sister-in-law

May 13, 2024, 8:29 PM

Kouri Richins, charged with killing her husband, looks on during a bail hearing on June 12, 2023, i...

Kouri Richins, charged with killing her husband, looks on during a bail hearing on June 12, 2023, in Park City. On Monday, Richins was found guilty of assaulting her sister-in-law shortly after her husband's death. (Rick Bowmer, Associated Press)

(Rick Bowmer, Associated Press)

PARK CITY — A Kamas woman charged with murdering her husband and later writing a book about grieving was found guilty on Monday of assaulting her sister-in-law shortly after her husband’s death.

Kouri Richins, 33, was charged with assault, a class B misdemeanor, on June 9, 2022, over an incident that occurred three days after her husband’s death in March 2022.

Richins’ sister-in-law, Amy Richins, testified that she went to the home of her brother, Eric Richins, and discovered that Kouri Richins had hired a locksmith to break into Eric Richins’ safe. She asked her sister-in-law why she hadn’t asked her father-in-law for the code, and Kouri Richins’ response was screaming and telling Amy Richins to get out of her house, Amy Richins testified.

Amy Richins said Kouri Richins punched her in the face and neck.

“I will never forget the look in her eyes when she attacked me that Sunday morning. … It took four people to pull her off me that day,” Amy Richins testified at a previous hearing in the case.

No contest plea

Kouri Richins pleaded no contest to the charge on Feb. 14, 2023, as part of a plea in abeyance, and was given 90 days to complete a thinking errors class or grief counseling and, until Jan. 14, 2024, to pay $1,105 to the court. If these were completed, the charge would be dismissed.

Prosecutors asked the court on Jan. 26 to determine that she had not followed the conditions and find her guilty.

Her attorney, Skye Lazaro, during a hearing in March, assured 3rd District Judge Brendan McCullagh that Richins did complete her grief counseling but did not get a report. She said a week before the deadline to submit that report, Kouri Richins was charged with murdering her husband and taken into custody.

Shortly after the hearing, Lazaro filed a receipt for counseling — but it showed counseling between March and June 2022, not after her plea in abeyance was entered.

McCullagh determined on Monday that Kouri Richins had not followed the conditions and found her guilty.

The maximum penalty under Utah’s law for the class B misdemeanor is six months in jail and a fine of $1,940.

Kouri Richins was arrested on May 8, 2023, over a year after her husband’s death, and charged with aggravated murder, a first-degree felony, and three counts of drug possession with intent to distribute, a second-degree felony.

A preliminary hearing for Kouri Richins in that case is scheduled for Wednesday. In that hearing, Judge Richard Mrazik will determine whether there is enough evidence to order her to stand trial for aggravated murder.

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Kamas woman charged with murdering husband is found guilty of assaulting sister-in-law