Reading Of Kouri Richins' Alleged Witness Tampering Letter

Sep 20, 2023, 11:00 AM

The unraveling tale of Kouri Richins, a Kamas mother of three accused of fatally poisoning her husband, Eric Richins, and subsequently writing a children's book about grieving, has taken another shocking turn. The Summit County Attorney's Office has recently filed a motion to prevent Richins from communicating with her immediate family, suggesting she's attempting to manipulate them into lying for her defense.
 On September 14, a search of Richins’ jail cell in the Summit County Jail, where she’s held without bail facing aggravated murder and drug charges, led to a startling discovery. Hidden inside a book, deputies found a six-page letter apparently written by Kouri to her mother, Lisa Darden. This letter's initial three pages contained directives for Lisa to relay to Ronney Darden, Kouri's brother.
 "Reword this however he needs to, to make the point," she emphatically wrote. "Just include it all."
 Within the contents of this letter, Kouri seemingly attempts to craft a narrative for her defense. She urges Ronney to inform her defense attorney, Skye Lazaro, of a supposed incident wherein Eric procured drugs, including fentanyl, from a ranch in Mexico. Further, she alleges Eric forced her to transport drugs during their travels, suggesting a plot to frame her if they were caught. Moreover, Kouri claims that Ronney possesses text messages from Eric that revolve around “getting high.”
 "Tell him I need him to do this," she implored her mother. "Bring me home and we will get those damn b- - - - - -."
 However, in a candid conversation with KPCW, Ronney stated he was unaware of the existence of the controversial letter. While admitting to knowing about Eric's marijuana habits, he firmly declared, “There's no reason to testify falsely—[Kouri] didn't do anything.”
 The intrigue doesn’t stop there. The letter unveils Kouri’s wish for her mother to disseminate pictures of Eric’s sister's daughters to various media entities. It appears that Kouri wanted to shift public sentiment, noting that she had friends scheduled to appear on Good Morning America. Coordinated by Lazaro, these friends were poised to discuss Eric’s alleged pill consumption and portray his sisters as envious adversaries.
 Kouri’s perspective? “This comes down to jealousy, money, and Eric’s partying that they don’t want to acknowledge and sadly an accidental overdose,” she alleged.
 As the motion reveals, another twist arose: prosecutors highlight an alleged video call between Kouri and Lisa on September 13. During the call, Kouri reportedly showed her mother another letter. The whereabouts of this letter remain unknown, with prosecutors speculating, “There is a strong inference that the September 13, 2023 letter was destroyed or flushed.”
 Lazaro’s response was swift. Accusing the prosecutors of violating a gag order, she vehemently objected to the public disclosure of the September 14 letter. To Lazaro, this move by the state felt akin to a direct leak to the media. She emphasized the envelope that contained the letter was marked "Skye Lazaro (Attorney privilege)", hinting at a potentially illicit search by the state. The defense claims that by unveiling the letter, the prosecutors aimed to sway public perception, further pointing out past instances where the state inadvertently shared Kouri’s sensitive information.
 The defense’s demands are clear: Enforce the gag order, potentially remove the letter from the docket, and hold the state in contempt of court.
 Additionally, concerns about Kouri’s health have emerged. On September 12, just days before the cell search, she was hospitalized. The reason remains undisclosed, but according to Ronney, a medication mix-up in the Summit County Jail led to her health scare.
 With the court recently issuing subpoenas for Kouri's medical records and the jail's surveillance footage, the next stages of this trial promise more revelations. Kouri Richins' next court appearance is slated for November 3, potentially setting the stage for a preliminary hearing.
 As this engrossing case continues, the stakes for all involved escalate. The quest for truth amidst a web of allegations, potential manipulations, and heartfelt emotions ensures that Summit County's trial remains under a relentless spotlight..
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