Utah Mother Kouri Richins Accused of Poisoning Husband Returns to Court for Status Hearing

Sheriff's deputies say they found the letter during a search of Kouri Richins' cell block Sept. 14..

Kouri Richins, the children’s book author from Utah charged with the fatal poisoning of her husband using fentanyl, returned to the courtroom on Friday, November 3, for a procedural hearing. The session, broadcast live at 1:30 p.m. on ABC4.com, was principally aimed at determining a date for the upcoming preliminary hearing.

During the last court appearance before Judge Richard Mrazik in August, defense attorney Skye Lazaro sought additional preparation time to review the financial details pertinent to the case. The request was granted, prompting the setting of the November status conference with the expectation of finalizing the preliminary hearing schedule.

The current hearing also anticipated deliberations over the contentious “Walk The Dog” dispute. State prosecutors had earlier presented a letter, reportedly discovered within Richins’ jail cell, which appeared to contain instructions for Richins’ mother, Lisa Darden, on directing testimony to Lazaro. The document suggests that Richins’ deceased husband, Eric Richins, had confided in his brother about drug use, information allegedly sourced from Mexico.

Richins defended that the writings were part of a fictional narrative and asserted that the documents, actually housed in a manila envelope and not a book as claimed, were intended for her attorney, implying protected communication under attorney-client privilege.

The State rebuffed, positing that the letter constituted an attempt at witness tampering and has petitioned the court to restrict Richins’ communication with her mother and brother.

Lazaro has countered by accusing the prosecution of violating a gag order and influencing public opinion through media exposure of the letter, which they claim skews perception against Richins. The defense has thus requested either a case dismissal or a venue change to Salt Lake County. The court’s decisions on these matters are pending.

Author: CrimeDoor

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