A Utah woman, who allegedly killed her husband before writing a book about grief, had “incriminating” internet searches on her phone including for “luxury prisons”, court documents say.
Kouri Richins, 33, is accused of poisoning her husband, Eric Richins, with a lethal dose of fentanyl in March 2022, which she denies.
She told authorities she had made her husband a mixed vodka drink before finding him unresponsive hours later.
Ms Richins has been denied bail.
Details of Ms Richins’ alleged Google searches emerged during her appearance at a detention hearing on Monday where the judge called her a “substantial danger” to society and ordered her to remain behind bars.
A list of some of her alleged searches as mentioned in the court documents included:
- what is a lethal dose of fentanyl
- luxury prisons for the rich in America
- death certificate says pending, will life insurance still pay
- can cops force you to do a lie detector test
- how to permanently delete information from an iPhone remotely
Her defence attorney Clayton Simms says she was simply researching her case to see how evidence is processed, adding “there’s nothing there that indicates guilt”.
Prosecutors allege that on 4 March last year, Ms Richins, a mother of three, called police in the middle of the night to say she had found her husband unresponsive.
She told authorities she had served her husband a Moscow mule in bed and then went to sleep with one of her young children who was having a night terror.
A medical examiner later found Mr Richins died from a fentanyl overdose.
According to court documents, between December 2021 and February 2022, Ms Richins had texted a person who had previously been arrested on drug charges asking for prescription pain medication for an investor with a back injury.
Ms Richins received hydrocodone pills, the court documents said, before she asked specifically for fentanyl.
Three days after Ms Richins allegedly obtained the drugs, she and her husband had a Valentine’s Day dinner, after which he fell ill.
Court documents said: “Eric told a friend that he thought his wife was trying to poison him.”
She obtained more fentanyl following this incident and called police late one night in March 2022, saying her husband was “cold to the touch”.
Documents also claimed Mr Richins changed his life insurance before his death.
A year after her husband’s death Ms Richins wrote a children’s book, Are You With Me?, to help children cope with the death of a loved one, and promoted it on local television.
She dedicated the book to Mr Richins, whom she described as “my amazing husband and a wonderful father”. She was arrested on 8 May this year.
Mr Richins’ sisters shared a victim impact statement at the hearing on Monday, saying Ms Kouri kept the couple’s three children away from his family after telling them they did not love them.
Prosecutor Patricia Cassell said Ms Richins was in “dire financial straits” and saw this as a way to get out of debt – a likely central theme of the prosecution’s argument if the case goes to trial.