COURTS & LEGAL

Kouri Richins’ attorneys ask to withdraw from representing her in murder case

May 18, 2024, 6:37 PM | Updated: May 20, 2024, 12:32 pm

PARK CITY — Attorneys for Kouri Richins requested to withdraw as her defense counsel and asked a judge to appoint new defense attorneys on Friday.

The request, made in a court filing in the 3rd Judicial District Court, came the same day defense attorneys asked to disqualify a team of prosecutors who have accused the Kamas woman of fatally poisoning her husband and then writing a children’s book about loss.

Ray Quinney and Nebeker P.C., the law firm representing Richins, said in Friday’s court filing it “is hereby providing notice that it has a professional duty to withdraw from its current representation of the defendant.”

“The ethical mandate for withdrawal results from an irreconcilable and nonwaivable situation,” the filing states. “It first emerged from the civil cases in which the firm has been representing Ms. Richins, but is imputed to the firm as a whole and thus requires the firm to withdraw from its representation of the Defendant in this criminal proceeding.”

A ‘matter emerged’

The attorneys said the “matter emerged after the hearing held on Wednesday,” which was delayed when Skye Lazaro, one of Richins’ attorneys, announced the defense would object to all 18 exhibits brought by prosecutors. Deputy Summit County attorney Bradley Bloodworth said prosecutors had no advance warning of the motion and was not prepared to argue about the admissibility of the evidence.

In their motion to disqualify prosecutors, Richins’ counsel alleged the Bloodworth had improperly used communications between Richins and her defense — which they say should be considered private under client-attorney privilege — while preparing their case. The motion asks that all prosecutors be dismissed but “specifically” Bloodworth.

Richins is charged with aggravated murder and attempted aggravated murder, first-degree felonies; two counts of distribution of a controlled substance, two counts of insurance fraud and two counts of mortgage fraud, second-degree felonies; and three counts of forgery, a third-degree felony.

Prosecutors allege she poisoned her husband Eric Richins, 39, who was found with five times the lethal dosage of fentanyl in his system when he died, according to a toxicology report.

Richins wrote a book about helping children cope with grief after her husband’s death, and was arrested May 8, 2023.

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Kouri Richins’ attorneys ask to withdraw from representing her in murder case