Utah grief author Kouri Richins’ antipsychotic meds found in husband’s system after his death


    A Utah father who was allegedly poisoned to death by his wife, a grief author, had some of her antipsychotic medication in his system when he died, according to a newly unsealed search warrant affidavit.

    Eric Richins, 39, died March 4, 2022, after his wife, Kouri Richins, allegedly poisoned him with illicit fentanyl during a quiet celebration at their home in Kamas, Utah, about 40 miles southeast of Salt Lake City, after she closed on a home for her business, authorities said.

    She was arrested and charged with aggravated murder and three counts of drug possession.

    A Summit County sheriff’s deputy said in a search warrant affidavit unsealed Thursday that the fentanyl was “illicit and not pharmaceutical grade.” A medical examiner had found that he had five times the lethal dosage in his system.

    A review of Eric Richins’ stomach contents found that he also had a small amount of Quetiapine in his system, the document says.

    Kouri and Eric Richins.
    Kouri and Eric Richins. via Facebook

    The medication is used to treat certain mental and mood disorders, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression, according to WebMD. Quetiapine “belongs to a class of drugs known as atypical antipsychotics” and “works by helping to restore the balance of certain natural substances in the brain,” the website says.

    Kouri Richins had a prescription for the medication, according to the affidavit, and had pills at their home. Eric Richins did not have a prescription, it says.

    When she was questioned about the medication, Richins told the deputy that she would sometimes use the pills to help her sleep. The medical examiner said that was not the intended use for Quetiapine.

    The deputy requested Richins’ medical records to see what the medication was prescribed for and when it was prescribed, the affidavit says. It’s unclear why she had been prescribed Quetiapine.

    An attorney for Richins declined to comment Wednesday.

    Kouri Richins during a status hearing in Park City, Utah, on Sept. 1, 2023.
    Kouri Richins at a status hearing in Park City, Utah, on Sept. 1.Rick Bowmer / AP file

    Previously released affidavits for search warrants said Eric Richins had suspected his wife of trying to poison him multiple times and warned his family that she was to blame if anything were to happen to him. He also told a friend that he thought his wife was trying to poison him, prosecutors said.

    Attorneys for Richins argued that “there has not been a single text message or other document turned over in discovery to support the allegation that Eric ever believed Kouri attempted to poison him,” according to a court filing.

    A year after her husband’s death, Richins published a book titled “Are You With Me?” and dedicated it to “my amazing husband and a wonderful father.” An Amazon description of the book said it was written to “create peace and comfort for children who have lost a loved one.” In an interview with KTVX-TV of Salt Lake City to promote her book, she said Eric Richins’ death happened “unexpectedly” and “took us all by shock.”

    She was taken into custody on May 8, a month after the interview, and is being held at the Summit County Jail in Park City awaiting trial.