According to records, a Utah author feuded with his husband over buying a $2 million home before he was killed
Eric Richins planned to tell Kouri Richins that he did not want to sign the closing papers for the property, the filings say.
A Kamas man, who prosecutors say took deadly drugs from his wife last year, had been arguing with her in the days before his death over her decision to buy a $2 million estate, as from court documents show.
The wife and murder suspect, Kouri Richins, is a licensed real estate salesperson, records from the Utah Department of Commerce Real Estate Division show. According to an affidavit and search warrant filed in the murder case, she wanted to “flip” the house in question, but her husband, Eric Richins, “had intended to tell her he wasn’t going to sign the papers” because he thought they were losing a lot of money.
Following Eric’s death on March 4, 2022, Kouri told police the two had celebrated closing a home for their company the night before, the affidavit said. Kouri had made her husband a Moscow Mule, which he drank in bed. She fell asleep shortly after and woke up around 3 a.m. to find Eric feeling cold, she told police.
Kouri called 911 and “allegedly attempted to resuscitate Eric,” the affidavit said. But when first responders arrived, it seemed like they hadn’t based on the amount of blood in his mouth.
The next day, she completed the multimillion-dollar estate on her own, the document said.
“She later invited her friends to a big party at her house, where she drank and partied,” the affidavit reads.
Eric Richins secretly changed his will and power of attorney from his wife to his sister Katie Richins-Benson in 2021, according to another affidavit with a search warrant. According to his sisters Benson and Amy Richins, Eric had told them he was concerned that “Kouri would kill him for money, and he wanted to make sure the children were financially supported,” the document reads.
According to the affidavit, Eric never told Kouri that he deleted her from the will, his family told investigators.
Months before Eric Richins died in January 2022, Kouri had taken out her husband’s life insurance policy with his business partner and amended it so that she was the sole beneficiary, according to the affidavit. But Eric was notified by the insurance company and changed it back.
According to the affidavit, Eric had wanted a divorce. After his death, a probate dispute erupted in a civil court between Kouri Richins and Eric’s sister Katie Richins-Benson over his estate, as well as a separate dispute over his trust assets, court filings show.
This week, following the arrest of Kouri Richins, Kouri filed a motion in escrow, requesting that the escrow and probate proceedings be stayed pending the outcome of the murder case. The sister had a different opinion.
“The estate must be administered regardless of what happens to Kouri’s prosecution,” said a response from the sister in the escrow case. “The estate administration cannot and should not wait for the outcome of the murder charges against Kouri, a process that could take years.”
The sister also filed a motion in the probate case Wednesday, requesting that Kouri Richins be barred from receiving any benefit from Eric’s estate, “otherwise, Kouri will be prevented from benefiting in any way from Eric’s death.” The motion referred to the ongoing murder case.
Kouri’s motion in the escrow case states, “Kouri should not be forced to choose between the waiver of her constitutional rights or the virtual forfeiture of her civil rights.”
As of Thursday afternoon, a judge had not made a decision on the applications.
An autopsy and toxicology results revealed that Eric Richins died of an overdose of fentanyl and that he had five times the lethal dose in his system. The coroner also stated that the fentanyl in his system was illegal fentanyl and not medical-grade fentanyl.
In the days leading up to his death, investigators, based on text messages she found on Kouri’s phone, suggested she had requested fentanyl from someone identified as “CL” in court documents.
Court documents allege that Eric Richins believed his wife tried to poison him several times before his death and cites two instances prior to his apparently fatal overdose, in which Eric ingested something his wife had given him and he fell ill became.
Almost a year after Eric Richins’ death, Kouri Richins published a children’s book about grief called Are You with Me?. The book was removed from Amazon’s website on Wednesday.
In April, Richins appeared on a segment of KTVX-Channel 4’s Good Things Utah to talk about the new book, sharing that her husband “passed away unexpectedly last year.”
Kouri Richins is currently being held in the Summit County Jail. A court hearing in the murder case is scheduled for May 19.