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State claims Kouri Richins engaged in witness tampering from her jail cell

SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah — The State of Utah filed a motion to bar Kouri Richins from contacting her mother and brother on Friday to prevent her from “further engaging in witness tampering,” following the discovery of a six-page letter in her cell.

Kouri Richins, who is accused of killing her husband, 39-year-old Eric Richins, in March 2022, is currently being held without bail at the Summit County Jail. Eric Richins’ official cause of death was ruled as a fentanyl overdose, and five times the lethal dosage of fentanyl in his system at the time of his death.

According to the motion, authorities discovered a six-page letter entitled “Walk the Dog” following a search of Kouri Richins’ cell on Thursday, September 14. The letter, allegedly written by Kouri Richins, was addressed to her mother Lisa Darden, and hidden inside of a book.

In the letter, Kouri Richins claims that her lawyer, Skye Lazaro, wanted to “link Eric [Richins] getting drugs and pills from Mexico.”

The letter goes on to instruct Lisa Darden to convince her son Ronald Darden, Kouri Richins’ brother, to falsely testify to Lazaro that Eric Richins had told Ronald Darden during a Sunday football game that he had purchased pain pills and fentanyl from workers at a ranch in Mexico.

“We need some kind of connection,” stated the letter. “You have to talk to Ronney [Ronald Darden]. He would probably have to testify to this, but it’s super short, not a lot to it. He will need to tell Skye [Lazaro] at the meeting next week.”

It is unclear whether this letter was ever given to Lisa Darden or anyone else.

According to the motion, the State considers this letter evidence of Kouri Richins engaging in witness tampering

“The letter claims that defense counsel, ‘wants to link Eric [Richins] getting drugs and pills from Mexico’ to the fentanyl that caused his death. No such link exists,” stated the motion. “The letter indicates that the Defendant has been soliciting and attempting to induce them [Lisa and Ronald Darden] to testify or inform falsely.”

At this juncture, the State is not seeking a no contact order for all potential witnesses.

Kouri Richins is slated to appear in court next at a scheduling conference on November 3.

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