Brother of Kouri Richins Speaks Out, Insists She Is Innocent of Murdering Her Husband

DJ defended his sister's innocence during a Friday interview on 'Good Morning America'

<p>Rick Bowmer/AP Photo</p> Kouri Richins appears in court beside her attorney Skye Lazaro in Park City, Utah

Rick Bowmer/AP Photo

Kouri Richins appears in court beside her attorney Skye Lazaro in Park City, Utah

A brother of Kouri Richins, the children's book author accused of murdering her husband, is now opening up about his sister's case — and he's insists that she is innocent.

Richins' brother, DJ, sat down with Good Morning America on Friday to discuss his sister's charges, now several months after Kouri, 33, was accused of murdering her husband of nine years, Eric Richins, by lacing his cocktail with fentanyl in March 2022.

"We know Kouri's innocent, and all that's going to come out in court. And I think that's going to shock people," DJ said in the new discussion about Richins, 33, who has been charged with one count of first-degree aggravated murder along with additional drug charges.

"When I got the news that Eric had died, I broke down into tears," DJ added. "He was a good guy."

"But it's my sister, I knew Eric, she didn't do this."

Related: Kouri Richins Claims Alleged Witness Tampering Letter Found in Jail Cell Was Actually Excerpt from Novel

<p>Rick Bowmer/AP Photo</p> Kouri Richins appears during a bail hearing Monday, June 12, 2023

Rick Bowmer/AP Photo

Kouri Richins appears during a bail hearing Monday, June 12, 2023

During the Good Morning America sit-down, DJ also called his sister a "good mom" and said that he thought she and her husband were "probably in the best place they've ever been" at the time of his death.

Richins, who has yet to enter pleas for her murder and drug charges, shares three children with her late husband.

DJ additionally accused authorities of misadministration of Richins' medication in jail, in what he called an effort to remove her from her jail cell in Summit County, Utah, to search it. "One time is an accident. Two times is incompetence," he claimed. "Six times is — looks like it's on purpose."

His claim comes as prosecutors filed a 6-page letter into evidence earlier this month, alleging that Richins was “engaging in witness tampering" while behind bars.

<p>Rick Bowmer/AP</p>

Rick Bowmer/AP

As previously reported, the letter is allegedly written to Richins' mother and instructs family to remind her brother, Ronney Darden, to recall a conversation he had with her now-deceased husband about a fentanyl habit.

The letter focuses on a conversation that took place while Eric and Darden were reportedly watching a Sunday football game together, as Richins allegedly wrote that her husband told her brother  “not to tell me because I would get mad because I always said he just gets high every night and won’t help take care of the kids.”

The letter adds that Darden could “reword this however he needs to, to make the point. Just include it all.”

Kouri Richins/Facebook Kouri and Eric Richins
Kouri Richins/Facebook Kouri and Eric Richins

The letter was recovered from Richins' cell by Officer Jeremy Thomas, who wrote in an incident report obtained by PEOPLE that she "gives her mother instructions to contact people involved in the case and what statements/ testimony to give.”

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Related: Children's Author Accused of Poisoning Husband with Fentanyl – Her Side of the Story: 'A Lot Will Come Out at Trial' (Exclusive)

And in a jailhouse call transcribed by prosecutors and obtained by PEOPLE, the accused author later claimed the letter was only part of a "fictional mystery book" she's working on. Darden told PEOPLE earlier this week that Richins was writing a new book "loosely based on what’s going on, but definitely fiction."

“Those papers were not a letter to you guys, they were a part of a freaking book,” Richins allegedly said in her jail call.

Richins has previously written a children’s book on dealing with a parent's sudden death. Her new letter reportedly violated three jailhouse rules, according to the incident report, which noted that the author was locked down “pending discipline and issued a violation.”

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