Children's author accused of murdering husband took out $2m life insurance on him, prosecutors say

A woman accused of murdering her husband and then writing a children's book about grief took out life insurance policies on him worth almost $2m (£1.6m) years before he was fatally poisoned, prosecutors say.

Kouri Richins was arrested in Utah earlier this month on suspicion of spiking her husband Eric Richins's drink with more than five times the lethal dose of fentanyl in March last year.

The additional allegations about the life insurance policies were revealed in court documents filed on Thursday, which led to the mother-of-three's detention hearing, scheduled for Friday, being postponed.

Richins, 33, is charged with aggravated murder and three counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.

Her 39-year-old husband was found unresponsive in the bedroom of their home in Kamas, Utah, after she made him a Moscow Mule cocktail to celebrate a business deal, NBC News reported.

An autopsy later concluded he died from an overdose of fentanyl.

A year after his death Richins published a children's book about coping with grief titled Are You With Me?, which she dedicated to her "amazing husband".

The court documents filed this week allege her husband discovered in September 2020 she had borrowed and spent $250,000 (£200,000) against their home, withdrawn at least $100,000 (£80,000) from his bank accounts and spent more than $30,000 (£24,000) on his credit cards, all without his knowledge.

Mr Richins confronted his wife about the money and she agreed to pay him back, according to the court filing.

In October 2020 he consulted a divorce lawyer and changed his will to cut his wife out, without her knowing.

The document further claims that, unbeknownst to her husband, Richins took out at least four life insurance policies on her husband's life between 2015 and 2017 worth almost $2m.

Mr Richins's family claim his wife tried to poison him multiple times during the course of their marriage, and he was suspicious of her but stayed in the marriage for the sake of their three children.

Prosecutors said they needed more time to provide discovery related to the new allegations in the document, according to a motion filed on Thursday.

Richins' lawyers said they needed time to review the discovery and prepare for the hearing.

"The State amended the charging Information and has not turned over discovery yet that supports it," Skye Lazaro, a lawyer for Richins, said in a statement. "Therefore we couldn't be prepared to argue about the sufficiency of the evidence."

The new detention hearing is scheduled for 12 June.