Police & Fire

Kouri Richins: Letter is ‘excerpt from a fictional book’ she is writing, not witness tampering

SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah — The state cited pages found in Kouri Richins’s jail cell as evidence of witness tampering, but she has now claimed that they were part of a fictional book she was writing.

Kouri Richins, who is accused of killing her husband, 39-year-old Eric Richins, is currently being held without bail at the Summit County Jail. On Friday, Sept. 15, prosecutors filed a motion to prevent Kouri Richins from contacting her mother and brother to prevent her from “further engaging in witness tampering,” following the discovery of a six-page letter entitled “Walk the Dog” in her cell.

The letter, which was allegedly written by Kouri Richins, was addressed to her mother, Lisa Darden, and hidden inside of an LSAT prep book. The letter instructed Darden to convince her son, Ronald Darden, Kouri’s brother, to falsely testify to Kouri’s lawyer, Skye Lazaro, that Eric Richins had told Darden during a Sunday football game that he had purchased pain pills and fentanyl from workers at a ranch in Mexico.

Now Kouri Richins has claimed that the pages were not in fact a letter to her mother, but rather part of a “fictional mystery” book she was writing.

“When I first got here I was telling you how I was writing a book… those papers were not a letter to you guys, they were part of my freaking book,” Kouri Richins said during a recorded phone call. “I was writing this fictional mystery book… I go to Mexico and I’m like trying to find these drugs… I’m writing about Dad… like me and Dad went to Mexico to find these drugs… you can very much tell that the whole thing is very much a story.”

It is unclear whether Lisa Darden ever received the “Walk the Dog” letter.

The defense filed a motion to enforce order and for contempt sanctions on Sept. 15, claiming that the letter was protected under attorney-client privilege. Prosecutors have opposed the motion, stating that the letter’s intent was clear.

“The Walk the Dog Letter is not a privileged attorney-client communication because it speaks directly to the Defendant’s mother and includes passages about the Defendant’s attorney (not to the Defendant’s attorney),” said court documents. “Its audience, content, and purpose are readily apparent -—the Defendant is asking her mother to facilitate witness tampering involving her brother, seeking to have her brother support a false factual narrative.”

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