HomeWorldMurder suspect Kouri Richins claims letter was part of novel
Murder suspect Kouri Richins claims letter was part of novel
September 20, 2023
Utah mom Kouri Richins, who penned a book about grief after allegedly murdering her husband, now has a novel explanation for denying witness tampering – saying a letter found in her cell was actually part of a new work of fiction.
The letter found last week was addressed to Richins’ mother, Lisa Darden, instructing her to have Kouri’s brother falsely testify that the author’s husband, Eric Richins, got drugs and pills from Mexico before his fatal OD.
Prosecutors said the six-page, handwritten “Walk the Dog” letter amounted to witness tampering because it allegedly contained instructions for Ronald to repeat “a false narrative,” according to a motion filed last week.
But new court documents filed by Richins’ defense claim she called her mother on Saturday and claimed the letter was an excerpt from a fictional book she’s penning about her stay in a Mexican prison.
“When I first got in here I was telling you how I was writing a book … those papers were not a letter to you guys, they were part of my freaking book … I was writing this fictional mystery book,” Richins told her mom, according to a court filing obtained by Fox 13 Now.
“I go to Mexico and I’m like trying to find these drugs … I’m writing about Dad … like me and Dad went to Mexico to find these drugs … you can very much tell that the whole thing is very much a story … then I get in the Mexican prison,” she said.
“I said have Skye sneak me in some white strips because my teeth are getting yellow because all we do is drink coffee in the Mexican prison,” Richins added, referring to her attorney, Skye Lazaro.
“We dispute the State’s characterizations and anticipate filing further briefing on these issues,” Lazaro told KUTV, arguing that prosecutors should not have made the letter public.
On Tuesday, prosecutors asked the court to deny the defendant’s motion to enforce an order and for contempt sanctions, according to the outlet.
“In a case like this, you want to try to protect against convicting somebody before all the evidence is out — you want to make sure that there is due process,” defense attorney Steve Burton, who is not associated with the case, told KUTV.
“The thing that is difficult for the defense is to explain why the next day she would make another call and say, ‘Oh, I’m not saying that was the truth. I’m saying that was part of a fictional book that I was writing,’” he added.
Richins, 33, suffered a seizure when she was given the wrong medication at the Summit County Jail, where she is being held on charges of first-degree aggravated murder and second-degree possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, the Daily Mail reported.
After the incident, jail staff conducted a search and found her letter in which Richins purportedly told her mom to instruct her brother to repeat, “Eric told [redacted name] that he got Pain Pills and fentanyl from Mexico from workers on the ranch.
“[Redacted name] can reword [the narrative] however he needs to, but is super short not a lot to it,” she reportedly added.
Richins’ attorney has filed a motion accusing the state of violating its gag order by filing the letter, which allegedly taints the prospective jury pool.
Richins wrote a tear-jerker book about grief, “Are You With Me?,” a year after she allegedly killed Eric with a fentanyl-laced Moscow mule.
Her husband had suspected she was carrying on an extramarital affair, family attorney Greg Skordas has said.
Eric had previously told a pal he believed Kouri was trying to poison him after he became sick after a Valentine’s Day dinner.
Eric died a day before Kouri closed on a $2 million deal to buy a 22,000-square-foot home — a deal for which he had allegedly refused to pay.