CBS’ ‘48 Hours’ investigates Utah woman charged with killing her husband

‘The People v. Kouri Richins’ airs Saturday on KUTV, Channel 2.

(Rick Bowmer | Associated Press file photo) Kouri Richins, left, a Utah mother of three who authorities say fatally poisoned her husband then wrote a children's book about grieving, speaks with her attorney Skye Lazaro during a bail hearing Monday, June 12, 2023, in Park City, Utah. A judge ruled to keep her in custody for the duration of her trial.

A Utah woman charged with killing her husband takes center stage on CBS on Saturday night, when “48 Hours” airs “The People v. Kouri Richins.”

Reporter Natalie Morales will take viewers through the facts of the case. On March 3, 2022, Richins said she found her husband, Eric, dead in their bed, and that she had no idea what happened to him. She wrote a children’s book to help her own three children and other kids cope with grief, and promoted it in multiple television appearances.

However, tests revealed that Eric Richins died of a fentanyl overdose, and investigators believe Kouri Richins used the powerful drug to kill her husband. She was arrested and charged with murder 14 months after his death.

In the “48 Hours” report (Saturday, 8 p.m., CBS/Channel 2), Kouri Richins’ mother and brother come to her defense. Lisa Darden says her daughter “could not have done this. She’d never do this.” And Ronnie Darden says his sister says she’s “in jail over something she hasn’t committed.”

It’s an eerie echo of a July 2022 “48 Hours” episode in which the mother and sister of Lori Vallow Daybell insisted she was innocent and incapable of killing her son and daughter. Daybell was convicted of the crimes 10 months later.

Saturday’s “48 Hours” report sets the stage with footage of Kamas — “rural America in every way” — and describes the Richins as “the family next door … very connected, very loving, very bonded.” And as “the happy American couple.” Kouri Richins’ attorney., Skye Lazaro, contends that “Eric and Kouri were probably at the best place they’ve ever been in their marriage and seemed genuinely happy with each other.”

(Courtesy Greg Skordas) Eric Richins, who died March 4, 2022, of a fentanyl overdose, is shown in this undated photo.

Lisa Darden tells Morales that hours before Eric Richins died, the couple was celebrating a new house-flipping deal Kouri was working on. “They had it all. I mean, it was one happy family.” She also says that she talked to her son-in-law the day before his death “and he looked horrible. He said, ‘My chest hurts.’”

Kouri Richins told police she mixed Eric a Moscow mule the night he died, and Eric Richins’ family suspects she put fentanyl in it.

Attorney Greg Skordas, a spokesman for Eric Richins’ family, tells Morales that Eric “wasn’t an opioid user” and that his death from a fentanyl overdose “doesn’t smell right. … I think [Kouri] felt that this would be treated as an accidental overdose, and nobody was going to be the wiser. [Eric] told his family, ‘If I die, you need to take a look at her, because I think she’s trying to kill me.’”

Lazaro, Kouri Richins’ attorney, expresses confidence that her client won’t be found guilty of killing her husband. “They’re going to have to prove that she got the drugs and that she somehow gave them to him,” Lazaro tells CBS. “And unless they can connect those dots, they’re going to have a hard time proving murder in this case.”