Moscow mule victim had told his family to blame his wife if anything happened ... trends now
Moscow mule victim Eric Richins stayed in his marriage for the sake of his children, despite fears that his wife would 'kill him for the money' and suspicions that she had been unfaithful throughout their ten-year union, DailyMail.com can reveal.
Speaking to DailyMail.com, family attorney and spokesperson Greg Skordas said: 'There are three reasons Eric stayed: one is 10 years old; one is nine, and the third is six.
'He lived for his three boys and unfortunately he died for them too.'
It is a tragic and chilling statement.
But, according to Skordas, Richins, 39, would have done and sacrificed anything for the three boys he had with wife, Kouri Darden Richins, 34.
Family attorney Greg Skordas says Eric Richins was considering divorce at the time he died, but chose to stay married to wife Kouri for their three young sons
The doting dad was 'really set on raising his boys the right way' despite the increasingly apparent troubles in his marriage. Pictured: Kouri and Eric Richens with their three boys, aged six, nine, and 10
The Kamas, Utah, home where police say Kouri Richins killed her husband Eric Richins in March 2022 with a fentanyl-laced Moscow Mule cocktail
Skordas said: 'He was a soccer coach, a baseball coach, basketball coach and avid outdoorsman with his boys.
'He donated all his pay from coaching to kids who could not afford some of the things his own boys had.
'He was really set on raising his boys the right way.'
And he was determined to do so despite the increasingly apparent troubles in his marriage.
Skordas said: 'There were rumors that Kouri maintained a relationship with somebody else for pretty much the duration of the marriage.
'It wasn't something the family ever discussed with Eric or anything that rose above the level of hearsay.'
But, for all his desire to keep his family together, Skordas revealed, Richins had begun to think the unthinkable in the weeks before his death.
He explained: 'Eric was considering divorce at the time he died. It was something he and Kouri had both discussed. They had argued over financial issues and both appeared to be a little more realistic about that prospect.'
He added: 'The sad truth is Eric was worth more to Kouri dead than divorced.'
Kouri was arrested and charged with Richins's murder on Monday, more than a year after his passing on March 4, 2022.
Eric's family told investigators shortly after he died they suspected his wife had killed the father-of-three
DailyMail.com has now learned Richins (pictured with Kouri, her brother Ronney, and her mother) had even left a letter to his family instructing them to 'check out' Kouri in the event that something happened to him
Pictured: Kouri Richins with her mother and aunt at her wedding in 2013
He is believed to have died after consuming a fentanyl-laced Moscow Mule cocktail which his wife allegedly mixed for him.
She told authorities that she and Richins were celebrating because she had closed on a home for her business, K Richins Reality LLC.
But, according to family members, Richins and Kouri had disagreed over the purchase of the $2million property which she wanted to buy and flip.
Relatives say Richins planned to tell his wife he did not intend to move forward with the purchase.
She closed the deal the day after he died and put the property on the market for $5million two weeks later.
Kouri told investigators that she made Richins the vodka-based cocktail which he drank in bed and that she went to sleep in one of their boy's bedrooms because the child had suffered night terrors.
When she returned to the master bedroom around 3am she said she found her husband unresponsive and cold to the touch.
She claimed she dialed 911 and attempted CPR but emergency responders dismissed this as unlikely because of blood visible at Richins's mouth.
In their probable cause statement, Summit County Sheriff's Department state that between February 11 and February 26 Kouri spent $1,800 on two purchases of street grade fentanyl.
Toxicology tests found the same drug in her husband's system.
The death of the fit and healthy young father was a shock to friends who knew him as a man who took, 'very, very good care of himself.'
Eric's March 2022 death came as a shock to friends who knew him as a healthy, young father who took 'very good care of himself'
The couple is said to have had argued over financial issues and both appeared to be 'more realistic about the prospect' of divorce
Details about the couple's troubled marriage, including how Eric had feared his wife would kill him, have only publicly emerged more than a year after his death
But Richins had long feared that he would meet an untimely end and that, if he did, it would be at the hands of the woman he married in a garden ceremony in Utah, June 15, 2013.
A search warrant filed in connection with Kouri's arrest states that Richins told family members, 'If anything happened to him, she was to blame.'
And according to records, Richins believed his wife had tried to poison him on several occasions.
Records show that, 'According to a sister, Eric and his wife went to Greece a few years ago and after his wife gave him a drink, he became violently ill and called his sister saying he believed his wife had tried to kill him.'
Later, on Valentine's Day 2022, 'His wife brought him a sandwich, which after one bite Eric broke into hives and couldn't breathe. He used his son's epi-pen as well as Benadryl before passing out for several hours.'
Put bluntly, Skordas said: 'He thought she was trying to kill him. And in retrospect he appears to have been right.'
In an extraordinary demonstration of just how concrete Richins's concerns were, DailyMail.com has learned that he not only told family members to 'check Kouri out' if anything happened to him because he 'didn't want her to get away with anything.'
He left written instructions for what to do if he disappeared or was 'detained under duress.'
The instructions were included in Richins's Living Trust and Estate obtained by DailyMail.com and written without his wife's knowledge in 2020.
In it he named his older sister, Katie Richins-Benson, 38, as his trustee, not his wife, and listed conditions under which she should take control of his estate. These included, 'Detention, Disappearance or Absence.'
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
He wrote: 'I will be considered incapacitated if I have an unexplained disappearance or absence for more than 30 days, or if I am detained under duress. My disappearance, absence, or detention under duress may be established by an affidavit of my