A Utah man who died after his wife allegedly spiked his drink with fentanyl, and later wrote a children’s book about pain, suspected she tried to poison him multiple times, saying «it was her fault» if anything happened to her. , according to the court. records.
Despite the suspicions, a family spokesman told the «TODAY» show in an interview Wednesday that Eric Richins stayed in the marriage to Kouri Richins because of their children.
eric richins, 39, died on March 4, 2022 at his home in Kamas, about 40 miles southeast of Salt Lake City, after he was found unconscious in his bedroom. His wife, Kouri Richins, 33, was arrested Monday on charges of aggravated murder and three counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.
An attorney for Kouri Richins did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.
‘If something happened to her, it was her fault’
According to search warrant records obtained Wednesday from the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, family members of Eric Richins told investigators to look into his wife’s involvement.
“They told her that he warned them that if anything happened to her, it was her fault,” the records say. Eric Richins, according to the records, suspected that his wife tried to poison him on multiple occasions.
«According to a sister, Eric and his wife went to Greece a few years ago and after his wife gave him a drink, he became seriously ill and called his sister saying he believed his wife had tried to kill him,» the records say.
«On Valentine’s Day 2022, his wife brought him a sandwich, which after one bite, Eric developed hives and was unable to breathe. He used his son’s epi-pen and Benadryl before passing out for several hours,» according to the records.
He was seeking a divorce and had recently switched his life insurance policy from his wife to his sister, records show.
being together for the children
Family spokesman Greg Skordas said Wednesday that Eric Richins stayed in the marriage for the sake of their children.
«They have three kids, three little boys, and I think Eric, being so involved in their lives as a football coach, baseball coach, basketball coach, he wanted to keep the family together,» Skordas said.
«Eric was a good father…He was a philanthropist. He cared for a lot of people…he did his best to make the most of his marriage.»
Skordas added that the Richins family is very happy that charges have been filed against Kouri Richins and hope that «justice will be served.»«
A mule from Moscow, lethal levels of fentanyl and deleted texts
Authorities said in a probable cause statement that Eric Richins died after his wife served him a celebratory Moscow Mule before his death.
Kouri Richins, according to the statement, told investigators that the night before her husband’s death they were celebrating because she had closed on a house for her business. She said she made him a Moscow Mule in the kitchen and took it to the bedroom and he drank it sitting on the bed, the statement said.
She said she slept in one of her sons’ bedrooms because the boy had a night terror, according to the statement. She allegedly woke up around 3 a.m. to find her husband was in her bedroom «cold to the touch» and called 911.
Kouri Richins also told officers that she left her cell phone in her room and did not take it to her son’s room, according to the statement.
But investigators later learned that her phone had been locked and unlocked multiple times, and that it showed movement during the time she said she was in her son’s room, according to the statement. Text messages that had been deleted were sent and received, according to the statement.
Summit County sheriff’s deputies said Eric Richins was on the floor at the foot of the bed. Rescue measures were attempted, but he was pronounced dead. An autopsy and toxicology report found that he died of a fentanyl overdose, according to the probable cause statement.
The medical examiner said he had five times the lethal dose of fentanyl in his system and that it was «illicit» fentanyl, not medical grade. He is also believed to have ingested the drugs orally, according to the statement.
During the investigation, authorities learned that Kouri Richins had allegedly contacted an acquaintance identified as «CL» to obtain pills, based on probable cause. In one incident, he allegedly asked the acquaintance for «some Michael Jackson stuff,» he said.
«The defendant specifically requested fentanyl,» the statement said. «CL contacted a distributor in Ogden on February 11, 2022 and purchased between 15 and 30 fentanyl pills from that distributor.»
Three days later, Eric Richins became seriously ill after having a Valentine’s Day dinner at his home with his wife, according to the statement. He believed he had been poisoned and «told a friend that his wife was trying to poison him,» he said.
Weeks later, authorities allege that Kouri Richins approached her acquaintance again and obtained more pills. Eric Richins died shortly after.
‘The Perfect Little Life’
A friend who knew Eric Richins for some 20 years recalled being shocked by the news of his death.
«I just never would have thought that would come. He’s not very old and he seems pretty healthy,» Bruce Capers, 52, of Salt Lake City, said in a phone call Wednesday.
Capers said that he talked to his friend quite often, mostly about hunting and travel, and that he had met Kouri Richins only a few times. He said it seemed like the couple had «the perfect life.»
«She seemed like she had the perfect life, that she had everything going for her,» Capers said, adding that she is still trying to prosecute the charges against Kouri Richins.
A year after her husband’s death, Richins published a book on grief titled «Are You With Me?» to “create peace and comfort for children who have lost a loved one,” according to a description on Amazon. She dedicated the book to «my amazing husband and wonderful father.» It has since been removed from Amazon.
In an interview with Salt Lake City’s KTVX-TV last month, Richins said the death happened «out of the blue» and «caught us all by surprise.» He said he wrote the book after watching his children struggle with the death of his father.