Author Kouri Richins set to lose $2m and book rights after friend of husband she ‘killed’ pushes law change, expert says

ACCUSED killer Kouri Richins could lose $2 million and the rights to her children’s book about grief if she’s found guilty of murdering her husband and a new bill is signed into law.

Kouri, 33, could be dealt the financial blow after a friend of her late husband introduced a bill to stop convicted murderers from receiving money through a prenup.

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Accused murderer Kouri Richins, seen with her late husband Eric, could lose $2 million if a new bill is passed in UtahCredit: Facebook/Kouri Richins
Kouri, pictured in court, is accused of murdering her husband in 2022 with a laced Moscow mule

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Kouri, pictured in court, is accused of murdering her husband in 2022 with a laced Moscow muleCredit: AP
Utah representative Brett Garner, a high school friend of Eric's, is pushing for the bill that would bar convicted murderers from receiving money through a prenup

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Utah representative Brett Garner, a high school friend of Eric’s, is pushing for the bill that would bar convicted murderers from receiving money through a prenupCredit: Instagram/ brett_l_g

Kouri is accused of killing her husband, Eric, with a lethal dose of fentanyl at their home in Kamas, Utah, about 40 miles west of Salt Lake City.

She told investigators that she made her husband, 39, a Moscow mule on March 2, 2022, as the couple celebrated Kouri closing on a house, according to court documents.

Kouri said that her husband drank the mule, allegedly laced with fentanyl, in bed as she put her three sons to sleep.

She said she woke up hours later, at around 3:22 am, found Eric dead at the end of their bed, and called police.

READ MORE on Kouri Richins

The mom-of-three was arrested for her husband’s murder more than a year later, on May 8, 2023.

She has pleaded not guilty to the charges against her.

SLAYER STATUTE

In June 2023, Kouri filed a civil lawsuit against Eric’s estate, alleging that she deserved money per their prenup.

The U.S. Sun spoke to Benazeer “Benny” Roshan, partner at Greenberg Glusker and Chair of the Trust and Probate Litigation Practice Group in Los Angeles, California, about a new bill introduced in Utah and what it could mean for Kouri.

The basis of all slayer statutes across the United States is if you kill a person, or are convicted of harming them, you are barred from inheriting money from the victim’s estate.

However, in the state of Utah, this does not apply to premarital agreements.

Children’s author Kouri Richin’s ‘murdered’ husband took ‘highly unusual’ steps ahead of death

The new bill, introduced by a high school friend of Eric Richins, aims to make modifications to the existing statute so that convicted murderers cannot benefit monetarily from a prenuptial agreement.

“If you have a premarital contract that gives you money and then you are later convicted of murdering your spouse, then you can’t get money by virtue of the premarital contract,” Roshan said of the bill.

Roshan said the modification would have a “limited scope of applicability” given this is a very specific and rare case.

In this case, it’s the gall factor that separates it apart… It’s the fact that she then went and sued, wanted to make money, and didn’t even mention that she was being convicted for murder.”

Benazeer “Benny” Roshan

“In Kouri’s case, she entered into a prenuptial agreement that gave her $2 million from the sale of a home,” Roshan said.

“This is what she was trying to enforce against her husband, against her deceased husband, that she’d been accused of killing.

“So that’s what this bill does.”

However, it’s important to note that this would only affect Kouri if the bill is signed into law, and if she’s found guilty of her husband’s murder.

DERANGED BOOK

After her husband’s death, Kouri wrote a children’s book titled Are You With Me?

She appeared on the TV show Good Things Utah and explained how she wrote the book to help her sons cope with the loss of their dad.

Kouri described her husband’s death as unexpected and said it deeply affected her and her children.

She said grieving was about “making sure that their spirit is always alive in your home.”

“It’s explaining to my kid, just because he’s not present here with us physically, doesn’t mean his presence isn’t here with us,” she told local ABC affiliate KTVX at the time.

The book reads, “Dedicated to my amazing husband and a wonderful father.”

The mother-of-three wrote a book about grief that aimed to help her sons cope with the loss of their dad

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The mother-of-three wrote a book about grief that aimed to help her sons cope with the loss of their dadCredit: Facebook/Kouri Richins
Prosecutors have charged Kouri with aggravated murder and 10 other counts, including attempted criminal homicide and distribution of a controlled substance

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Prosecutors have charged Kouri with aggravated murder and 10 other counts, including attempted criminal homicide and distribution of a controlled substanceCredit: Facebook/Kouri Richins

Roshan explained how normally, due to royalty rights, the book would be considered her intellectual property and the proceeds would go to her.

However, if the slayer statute and potential new bill were to be applied, that may no longer be the case.

The LA lawyer argued that all the funds from her book should bypass her and go to her children.

Roshan also explained how Kouri’s case is very specific and comes with peculiarities that will continue to make her story popular.

“It’s the gall factor,” she said.

“Most other slayer cases, you have like a sloppy desperate person [looking] for money. They go and they kill their mom or grandma.

“In this case, it’s the gall factor that separates it … It’s not just that she potentially killed her husband in this vile way.

“It’s the fact that she then went and sued, wanted to make money, and didn’t even mention that she was being investigated for murder.”

MAKING A DIFFERENCE

The bill to halt prenup payments to murderers in Utah was introduced by State Representative Brett Garner, who was friends with Kouri’s husband in high school.

Though the two had not been in contact for years, Roshan believes the intention behind the bill is “absolutely pure.”

“[Reading the draft], it makes it clear to me that the visceral reaction anybody would have of like, ‘How dare you. You shouldn’t kill another human,’ you know?

“And it very much reads like that.”

Roshan commended Garner for using his position of power to fight for change.

“I applaud him for doing that because I think he’s using his position of power to do something good, to affect positive change in society,” she said.

NEW DEVELOPMENTS

On Monday, new charging documents were filed alleging that Kouri also slipped her husband drugs in a Valentine’s Day sandwich, NewsNation reported.

She’d ordered the sandwich from a diner and left it for Eric alongside a note.

Eric texted his wife that he wasn’t feeling good and that if he didn’t feel better soon he was going to the hospital.

Kouri wasn’t home at the time and texted him back saying he should take a nap, according to court documents.

That afternoon, Eric contacted his friends about the sandwich incident.

He told one friend “You almost lost me” and described breaking out in hives after taking a bite from the sandwich.

Eric said he had to use his son’s EpiPen and take Benadryl, prosecutors wrote in the documents.

“Eric Richins told Witness 1 that he had almost died,” the charging documents say.

“Witness 1 could hear the fear in Eric Richins’ voice and could tell that Eric Richins was scared.”

Eric told another friend that he thought his wife had tried to poison him, prosecutors alleged.

Opioids, including fentanyl, can cause allergic and pseudoallergic reactions, including hives, and Eric did not have any food allergies, the documents said.

Prosecutors had initially accused Kouri of aggravated murder, possession or use of a controlled substance, and two counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute. 

On Monday, prosecutors amended the charges.

In addition to aggravated murder, Kouri is now accused of one count of attempted criminal homicide, two counts of distribution of a controlled substance, two counts of mortgage fraud, two counts of insurance fraud, and three counts of forgery.

Kouri Richins charged with murder

Kouri Richins is accused of killing her husband with a laced Moscow mule but she’d apparently taken steps before his death that cops view as suspicious.

  • October 2020: Eric Richins consults a divorce lawyer and estate planner to change his will and place his estate under the control of his sister for the primary benefit of his three children.
  • January 1, 2022: Kouri Richins allegedly makes herself the beneficiary of her husband’s $2 million life insurance policy ‘without authorization’ but the move was reversed.
  • February 14, 2022: Eric reports getting very ill after Kouri allegedly served him a sandwich on Valentine’s Day and he tells a friend that he thought she tried to poison him.
  • March 3, 2022: The couple celebrates Kouri closing on a house and she makes Eric a Moscow mule which he drinks in bed.
  • March 4, 2022: Kouri calls 911 to report finding Eric dead at the foot of their bed.
  • February 2023: Kouri files a claim against Eric’s trust protesting his sister being the representative.
  • May 8, 2023: Cops arrest Kouri for aggravated murder and three counts of possession of drugs with intent to distribute.
  • June 9, 2023: Kouri files a civil lawsuit against Eric’s estate seeking monetary and/or physical assets as part of their prenup.
  • September 18, 2023: A letter is found in Kouri’s jail cell allegedly showing her telling a family member what to say in court.
  • November 3, 2023: Kouri appears in court as a motion to dismiss her trial is denied.
  • March 25, 2024: Kouri is hit with additional charges including attempted murder for allegedly drugging her husband with a Valentine’s Day sandwich in an attempt to kill him.
A view of Kouri's children's book, Are You With Me?

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A view of Kouri’s children’s book, Are You With Me?Credit: Amazon
She appeared on the TV show Good Things Utah and explained how she wrote the book to help her sons cope with the loss of their dad

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She appeared on the TV show Good Things Utah and explained how she wrote the book to help her sons cope with the loss of their dadCredit: ABC 4
Kouri described her husband's death as unexpected and said it deeply affected her and her children

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Kouri described her husband’s death as unexpected and said it deeply affected her and her childrenCredit: ABC 4

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