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Richins' attorney filed a motion to dismiss due to 'prosecutorial misconduct,' states a fair trial is no longer possible
SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah — Kouri Richins attorney has motioned for all charges against her be dismissed, stating that a fair trial is no longer possible.
Richins is accused of killing her husband, 39-year-old Eric Richins, in March 2022, and she is currently being held without bail at the Summit County Jail.
Richins has been charged with aggravated murder and three counts of drug possession with the intent to distribute.
Richins’ attorney, Skye Lazaro, filed a motion to dismiss due to “prosecutorial misconduct” yesterday. If the charges are not dismissed, the defense has asked that the court disqualify the Summit County Attorney’s Office from the case, and change the venue for court proceedings from Summit County to Salt Lake County.
The defense also motioned to quash all evidence related to the “Walk the Dog” letter, a six-page note allegedly penned by Richins in mid-September.
“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 prosecution. “The letter indicates that the Defendant has been soliciting and attempting to induce them [Lisa and Ronald Darden] to testify or inform falsely.”
After the letter was found in Richins’ cell, the state filed a motion to bar her from contacting her mother and brother in order to “further engaging in witness tampering.”
Richins was never charged with witness tampering, and her attorney has argued that the letter was obtained through a potentially illegal search of her documents, as it was allegedly stored in an envelope addressed to Lazaro and labeled “attorney priviledge.”
While a police report stated that the “Walk the Dog” letter was found folded and hidden inside an LSAT prep book, according to the motion to dismiss, the letter does not have any crease marks, and does not appear to have ever been folded. Richins later claimed that the “Walk the Dog” letter was a part of a fictional book she was writing.
The defense has motioned for jury instruction to preclude what they described as “the state’s false claim” that Richins had engaged in witness tampering.
Typically, the prosecution’s opposition to Lazaro’s motion would have to be filed by Oct. 25, but the state has requested more time.
The state has requested that the deadline be extended to Nov. 10 in order to incorporate the court’s findings from Richins motions hearing on Nov. 3 into its opposition.