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Kouri Richins, Utah mom accused of fatally poisoning husband with fentanyl, asserts innocence in audio message

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(PARK CITY, Utah.) — Kouri Richins, the Utah mother accused of murdering her husband by mixing a lethal dose of fentanyl with his cocktail, is speaking out from jail and proclaiming her innocence in a new audio recording.

The 34-year-old mother of three, who wrote and self-published a children’s book on grieving following her husband’s death, has remained behind bars in the Summit County jail since her arrest in May 2023. She was charged last year with aggravated murder and drug charges in connection with the 2022 death of her husband, Eric Richins, 39. She has yet to enter a plea to the charges but she denies the allegations.

“The world has yet to hear who I really am, what I’ve really done or didn’t do,” Kouri Richins insisted in the audio, provided to ABC News through a trusted confidant. “What I really didn’t do is murder my husband.”

Eric Richins was found dead in the couple’s bedroom on March 4, 2022. An autopsy determined that he died from fentanyl intoxication, and that the level of fentanyl in his blood was approximately five times the lethal dosage, according to the charging document. The medical examiner determined the fentanyl was “illicit fentanyl,” not medical grade, according to the charging document.

Kouri Richins allegedly told police that she had made her and her husband Moscow Mules the night before and they drank them while sitting on the bed, according to the probable cause statement.

Kouri Richins was also recently charged with attempted murder in the case. Prosecutors allege she drugged her husband’s sandwich on Valentine’s Day 2022 in an earlier attempt to murder him.

The motive, prosecutors allege in court filings, was that Kouri Richins was engaged in an affair with a “paramour” and deeply in debt. She also faces charges of forgery and insurance fraud.

Kouri Richins said she is releasing the audio recording in the hope of setting the record straight.

“The world hasn’t heard the real facts of the case,” she said. “It’s time to begin some serious damage control. Who I really am and all that matters is a wife of Eric Richins and a mom to three beautiful boys.”

ABC News did not immediately receive a response from prosecutors regarding the recorded statement.

In response to the recording, a spokesperson for Eric Richins’ family said, “Those are the rantings of a sociopath, a woman who has no compassion, no feelings, no sense of remorse or guilt for what she’s done and is only thinking of herself. It’s sad it’s tragic and yes, we look forward very much to having the evidence presented in front of a jury, hopefully sooner rather than later.”

The audio was released a day before Kouri Richins is next scheduled to appear in court. She is expected to get a new attorney at a status hearing on Friday after her defense filed a motion last week to withdraw from the case due to an “irreconcilable and nonwaivable situation.”

A judge granted the motion for the defense firm to withdraw on Monday.

Her attorney has also filed a motion asking the court to disqualify prosecutors for what they allege is gross misconduct, including the claim that the state recorded and listened to privileged calls between Kouri Richins and her attorney.

In a statement this week, prosecutors called the motion “materially inaccurate” and charged it was “filed in bad faith.”

A preliminary hearing to decide if prosecutors have enough evidence to go to trial was postponed until June.
 

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