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Grief Author Kouri Richins Allegedly Texted 'Paramour' She Loved Him Hours Before Her Husband Died: Docs

Prosecutors have added 10 new charges against the Utah mother, accused of murdering her husband, Eric Richins

Kouri Richins/Facebook Kouri and Eric Richins
Kouri Richins/Facebook Kouri and Eric Richins

On the night of her husband's sudden death, Kouri Richins allegedly received a text message with a photograph of two people kissing — from another man.

The man — who is not named in the amended criminal information filed by Utah prosecutors Monday and obtained by PEOPLE — is referred to throughout the 14-page court document as Kouri’s “paramour.”

That night at 8:36 p.m. March 3, 2022, Kouri allegedly texted the man back, writing “love you,” followed by a kissing emoji.

Less than 30 minutes later, according to her own later account relayed by law enforcement officers, Kouri and her husband, Eric Richins, “had a drink together,” per the amended information.

Kouri and Eric Richins with their three sons.
Kouri and Eric Richins with their three sons.

Hours after that, at 3:21 a.m., Kouri called 911, reporting that her husband was “not breathing, he’s cold … he doesn’t have a pulse.”

Related: Kouri Richins Claims Alleged Witness Tampering Letter Found in Jail Cell Was Actually Excerpt from Novel

The Kamas, Utah, mom was arrested more than a year after her husband’s death on May 8, 2023 — shortly after publishing a children’s book about Eric’s death, which she said she wrote on behalf of the couple’s three kids to help process their grief.

Shortly before her arrest, Kouri Richins published a children's book about her husband's sudden death.
Shortly before her arrest, Kouri Richins published a children's book about her husband's sudden death.

Prosecutors allege Kouri, who had started a real estate business flipping houses, owed hard money lenders “at least $1,847,760,” per the amended criminal information.

Believing she would be the benefactor of a set of insurance policies she’d taken out on her husband that would more than cover that sum, Kouri allegedly laced his bedtime Moscow mule with five times the amount of lethal fentanyl, prosecutors claim.

Related: Investigators Believe Kouri Richins’ Mom May Have Helped Grief Author Kill Husband

Prosecutors initially accused Kouri of aggravated murder, possession or use of a controlled substance and two counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.

<p>Rick Bowmer/AP</p> Kouri Richins with her lawyer, Skye Lazaro, at her bail hearing June 12, 2023.

Rick Bowmer/AP

Kouri Richins with her lawyer, Skye Lazaro, at her bail hearing June 12, 2023.

On Monday prosecutors amended the criminal information, eliminating every charge except aggravated murder and adding to it 10 new charges, including: one count of attempted criminal homicide, two counts of distribution of a controlled substance, two counts of mortgage fraud, two counts of insurance fraud and three counts of forgery.

The charge for attempted murder references what prosecutors allege was an earlier attempt at Eric’s life, when they claim, she previously tried to kill her husband a month prior to his death with a poisoned sandwich on Valentine’s Day. (Court documents obtained by PEOPLE allege the Valentine’s Day sandwich came with a love note.)

Related: How Sisters of Utah Father Allegedly Poisoned By His Wife Pushed Investigation Forward: ‘Not Giving Up’ (Exclusive)

After allegedly ordering the sandwich that morning, per the amended information, Kouri then texted that same person that she was en route to see him: “headed that way," she wrote.

Eric and Kouri Richins at their backyard wedding in Kamas, Utah, June 15, 2013.
Eric and Kouri Richins at their backyard wedding in Kamas, Utah, June 15, 2013.

Meanwhile, Eric took one bite of the sandwich and broke out in hives, per the updated information, texting her a photograph, which has since been deleted from both of the couple’s phones.

Ultimately, according to prosecutors, Eric “injected himself with his son’s epi-pen that was on the counter, drank a bottle of Benadryl,” and reportedly told a friend: “I think my wife tried to poison me.”

Kouri and Eric Richins
Kouri and Eric Richins

He also texted his wife: “I’m gonna go lay down for a bit if I don’t start getting better I’m gonna head to the hospital,” Eric texted per the amended information on Valentine’s Day morning.

“Geez, it’s that bad?” Kouri responded. “Need me to come home?”

Related: Children's Author Accused of Poisoning Husband with Fentanyl – Her Side of the Story: 'A Lot Will Come Out at Trial' (Exclusive)

Eric slept it off, then texted Kouri to see if she was at home.

She responded that she was in Provo, Utah, “waiting for my cabinet installer guy.”

In previous interviews with Kouri’s family members and close friends, those closest to her have claimed to PEOPLE that Kouri is being set up by the county sheriff’s office, that Eric was the one who cheated on her and that she was too in love with her husband to ever kill him.

“There is nothing in the document that affects Kouri's approach to defending whatever charges the State levies against her,” Kouri’s lawyer, Skye Lazaro, said in a statement to PEOPLE Tuesday. “She continues to maintain her innocence.”

If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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