Eric Richins 'killer wife' believed she would get $3.6million after his death trends now
Moscow Mule victim Eric Richins was worth more to his wife dead than he was alive according to the terms of a prenup signed on the day of their wedding, DailyMail.com can exclusively reveal.
Kouri Richins – who wrote a book on coping with grief after her husband's death – has been charged on multiple counts related to his murder at their home near Park City, Utah, in March last year.
Police believe she gave him a lethal dose of fentanyl disguised in a Moscow Mule – a vodka-based cocktail.
Now, court documents exclusively obtained by DailyMail.com, have laid bare the twisted legal battle Kouri, 34, launched against her husband's family within weeks of his death in a bid to secure an estate valued in excess of $3.6million.
Kouri Richins is charged with murdering her husband Eric in Utah last year after he died of a fentanyl overdose when she gave him a Moscow Mule at their home
Eric's family told investigators shortly after he died they suspected Richins had killed the father-of-three. Pictured: Kouri and Eric Richens with their three children
The Kamas, Utah, home where police say Kouri Richins killed her husband Eric Richins in March 2022
In a lawsuit disputing her late husband's will, Kouri not only claimed that the money is rightfully hers but accused Eric of trying to 'defraud' her by taking legal action to shield his property and business from her without her knowledge.
Kouri made her allegations in a claim against the living trust that Eric drew up without informing her in November 2020.
Eric was divorced from his first wife Julie Jorgenson, whom he married in 2005
According to the police warrant, at the time, Richins had expressed a fear that his wife might 'kill him for the money'.
Unknown to Kouri he transferred the family home, all personal property and his interest in the masonry business he ran with friend and partner, Cody Wright, into the Trust which he then placed in the sole control of the older of his two sisters, Katie Richins-Benson, 38.
But as far as Kouri was aware, his estate was to be divided according to the terms of the couple's prenuptial agreement which Eric's late mother, Linda, presented to her on the very day of their wedding.
The document was signed along with the wedding certificate on June 15, 2013, and under its terms, on Eric's death, pretty much everything would pass seamlessly to Kouri.
The decision to have a prenup in the first place was inspired by the experience of Eric's divorce from his first wife Julie Jorgenson, whom he married in 2005.
Jorgenson, later died aged 26 in a fiery car crash in January 2011 . She was rear ended by a pickup truck that barreled into her at 70 mph as she waited at a red light, according to a report in the Salt Lake Tribune.
The driver, who was later sentenced to prison, had been smoking weed and couldn't see through his frost covered windshield.
Eric's family was trying to protect him and prevent a repeat of the 'difficulties' of his divorce from Jorgenson, according to court filings.
Instead, he may have unwittingly signed his own death warrant.
Because, according to legal documents filed by Kouri last March, as far as she was concerned, the prenup remained in 'full force and effect' at the time of Richins's death and under its terms her financial gains were considerable if he died while they were still married.
In a lawsuit disputing her late husband's will, Kouri not only claims that his money is rightfully hers but accuses Richins of trying to 'defraud' her by taking legal action to shield his property and business from her without her knowledge
Unknown to Kouri her husband transferred the family home, all personal property and his interest in the masonry business he ran with friend and partner, Cody Wright, into a trust which he then placed in the sole control of his sister Katie Richins-Benson, 38
The prenup places the value of Eric's interest in his business as approximately $2.5million in 2013, a figure which, Kouri's filings state, was 'easily exceeded' by the time of his death
According to the prenup, seen by DailyMail.com, Eric and Kouri agreed that neither had any right to the 'present or future income, or assets of the other, including, but not limited to, the business known as C&E Stone Masonry LLC [which] is owned in partnership between Husband and a third party,' unless Eric died before his wife while the pair were still legally married.
Similarly, the couple agreed that the company would 'remain the sole property of the husband,' except if he should predecease his wife while they were legally married.
In that instance, the prenup states, 'husband's partnership interest…shall transfer to the wife.'
The prenup places the value of Eric's interest in that business as approximately $2.5million in 2013, a figure which, Kouri's filings state, was 'easily exceeded' by the time of his death.
According to Eric's wishes in the event of his death that share – 50 percent of the successful business – was to be bought out by his partner using the pay out from a life insurance policy for which Wright was named beneficiary.
Kouri attempted to change the terms of that policy in January 2022 and have herself rather than her husband's partner named beneficiary.
When the insurance company informed the business partners of the change, they switched it back to the original terms.
Kouri filed her claim against her late husband's sister and his estate on March 28 last year, less than two weeks after his older sister Richins-Benson opened the probate action to execute her brother's will.
But, the battle lines had been drawn between Kouri and the Richins family within 48 hours of Eric's death.
According to Kouri, on March 5, the evening after he was found dead, 'several individuals, including [Eric's] sister, spent the night at the family home.
'The next morning, on March 6, 2022, Kouri asked the sister to leave to give her time and space to grieve the passing of her husband'.
Kouri states that, despite her requests, 'the sister refused to leave and began threatening and verbally accosting Kouri. After Kouri insisted that the sister leave, the sister asserted that Kouri did not own the family home and that she would ensure Kouri was kicked out of the family home.'
Following her husband's death, Kouri Richins wrote 'Are you with me?' - a picture book she wrote to help children cope after the death of a loved one
Kouri is seen promoting her book last month on a local Utah station. 'We have three little boys,' she told the interviewer, 'And my kids and I kind of wrote this book on the different emotions and grieving processes that we've experienced in the past year'
Kouri claims that she and her late husband purchased the property in Kamas – a 20-minute drive from Park City – together and that both contributed to the down payment and mortgage payments.
She maintains that Eric had no right to transfer her share of the property into the trust and that he did so, 'with actual intent to hinder, delay or defraud [her] and her claim to and interest in the same.'
As well as suing for the estate she claims is rightfully hers, Kouri has asked for compensation of at least $300,000 for what she describes as the 'unjust enrichment' of the trustees.
For her part, Eric's sister, Katie, vehemently disputes almost every aspect of her former sister-in-law's claims.
In filings also seen by DailyMail.com she asserts that Kouri 'did not purchase or in any way contribute