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Kouri Richins Charged with Witness Tampering in Husband's Fentanyl Poisoning

Utah mother accused of poisoning husband with fentanyl-laced cocktail now facing witness tampering charges in the case.

A mother from Utah, Kouri Richins, who is accused of poisoning her husband with a fentanyl-laced cocktail, is now facing additional charges for allegedly fabricating a story about her husband's drug purchases overseas. Prosecutors in Summit County have charged Richins with witness tampering, claiming that she attempted to convince her brother to give false testimony in her favor. Richins is already facing charges of aggravated murder and drug possession with intent to distribute in relation to her husband's death in March 2022.

According to the prosecution, Richins administered a lethal dose of fentanyl to her husband by slipping it into a Moscow Mule that he later consumed. Prior to her arrest, she self-published a children's book about grief based on her children's experiences after losing their father.

The prosecution has now requested that Richins have no contact with two of her family members. It was discovered that she had written a six-page letter in which she asked her mother, Lisa Darden, to instruct her brother, Ronald Darden, to testify falsely in her case. The letter outlined a supposed conversation between her late husband and her brother about purchasing drugs overseas. However, prosecutors have stated that there is no evidence to support Richins' claim that her husband bought the fentanyl that killed him.

In the letter, Richins suggested that her brother could take liberties with the narrative as long as he conveyed the intended message. She also mentioned an upcoming interview on "Good Morning America" featuring her close friends, providing specific instructions on what should be mentioned during the interview.

The prosecution argues that Richins' actions in drafting and hiding the letter demonstrate her intent to tamper with witnesses. They also point out her reliance on her mother and brother, suggesting that they may be predisposed to tampering.

After her husband's death, Richins self-published a children's book titled "Are You With Me?" which depicts a father watching over his children from heaven. She appeared on a local TV show to promote the book shortly before being taken into custody.

Prosecutors have alleged that Richins had previously attempted to poison her husband after he discovered her significant debt. She had taken out multiple life insurance policies on her husband and consulted a divorce attorney when he found out about her financial situation.

On Valentine's Day, Richins allegedly prepared a sandwich for her husband and left it in his truck with a love note. He experienced an allergic reaction and later told a friend that he believed his wife had tried to poison him.

Prosecutors believe that Richins obtained illicit fentanyl and drugged a Moscow Mule that she made for her husband. An analysis of her phone revealed searches related to lie detector tests, luxury prisons for the wealthy, and the cause of death in cases of poisoning.

Richins has denied all allegations against her. The prosecution has announced that they will not seek the death penalty, and if convicted, Richins could face a sentence of 25 years to life in prison.

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