Kouri Richins, a Utah mother of three who wrote a children's book about coping with grief after her husband's death and was accused of fatally poisoning him, will remain in jail for the duration of her trial on murder and drug charges, a judge ruled Monday. Richins held her head and cried as a detective testified about authorities finding her husband dead and "cold to the touch." Prosecutors argued the evidence was strong enough to deny her bail, Scripps News reports. Her case became a true-crime sensation when charges were filed after publication of "Are You With Me?" — the illustrated storybook about an angel wing-clad father watching over his children after passing away. Richins promoted the book as a tool to help children grieve.
Monday's detention hearing provided contrasting theories of the case. A detective, a private investigator and a forensic accountant painted a picture of Richins as having calculatingly plotted to kill her husband, making financial arrangements and purchasing drugs found in his system after his March 2022 death. Amy Richins, Eric's sister, called her sister-in-law "desperate, greedy and extremely manipulative." Richins' attorneys argued the evidence was dubious and circumstantial, noting that no drugs were found at the family home after the death and suggesting the state's star witness — the housekeeper who claims to have sold Richins the drugs — was seeking leniency in the face of state and federal drug charges. "They provided evidence to her, essentially, until she got it right," Skye Lazaro, Richins' attorney, said of police interviews with the housekeeper. The couple and their three sons lived in a new development in Francis, 50 miles east of Salt Lake City.