The woman, who allegedly killed her husband and then promoted a children’s book she wrote about grieving his death, spoke to a documentary filmmaker while she was in prison awaiting trial, according to prosecutors.
The Summit County, Utah District Attorney’s Office is seeking a gag order in the case of 33-year-old Kouri Richins, who is accused of poisoning her husband Eric Richins, 39, last year. After his death, she wrote a children’s book about grief with her son and subsequently promoted the book through local media appearances. Since her arrest, Richins has attracted international media attention, including from four organizations interested in making documentaries, and according to prosecutors, she herself has been in direct contact with at least one filmmaker.
“A review of the defendant’s prison visits shows that she communicated with a documentary filmmaker directly and through a friend,” prosecutors wrote in a filing obtained by KPCW, a public radio station in Utah seeking a lockdown order.
A hearing on the gag order was scheduled for Friday.
Prosecutors say the temporary silence order was necessary because of overwhelming media interest. It would ban those involved in the case from speaking to the media, and prosecutors said they modeled it after a similar silence order in the case against Bryan Kohberger, who is accused of killing four students on November 13, 2022 of the University of Idaho for having killed.
“This case should be tried in a court of law based on relevant and admissible evidence, not in the court of public opinion on the basis of uninformed or inaccurate sensations, rumors and hearsay solicited from those with incomplete knowledge of the circumstances and evidence.” of the alleged crime,” Summit County prosecutors said.
According to her application, journalists made every effort to contact those involved in the case, including stopping and “courting” a clerk at a petrol station[ing] the victim’s family’s private investigator, promising that a “handsome actor” will play her in the upcoming production.”
Richins was arrested May 8 on charges of murdering her husband and possessing a controlled substance with intent to distribute in three counts. She claimed she found her husband unconscious in her bedroom on March 4 after drinking a Moscow Mule cocktail she had prepared for him.
In court documents, investigators said they uncovered messages between Richins and a drug dealer that allegedly showed her intent to kill her husband with drugs including fentanyl and “some of the Michael Jackson stuff,” believed to be the anesthetic propofol acted.
According to a probable cause statement, Richins had made several attempts to poison her husband, including while they were vacationing in Greece and on Valentine’s Day last year.
Richins’ husband had reportedly planned to divorce her and changed his will in favor of his siblings. Three months before his death, however, Richins made herself the sole beneficiary of the will, according to testimony KPCW.
According to loading documents obtained from The Associated Pressprosecutors alleged that Richins had also taken out four life insurance policies on her husband’s behalf prior to his death unbeknownst to him, almost $2 million in total.
After her husband’s death, Richins self-published Are You With Me?, a children’s book about a child whose father continues to watch over them after his death.
In an interview with Salt Lake City broadcaster KTVX-TVRichins said she and her children co-wrote the book to help navigate her life after her husband’s death.
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