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New documents reveal search history of woman who allegedly killed her husband after writing children's book on grief

By John Patrick Magno Ranara Published Jun 13, 2023 5:57 pm

As the trial of a Utah children's book author accused of murdering her husband continues, new details have emerged about her internet search history in the lead-up to the crime.

According to documents that were obtained by CNN, the woman, Kouri Richins, had searched articles on her smartphone on topics such as the lethal dose of fentanyl, life insurance payments, and investigations.

Fentanyl, a highly potent drug used as an analgesic (pain relief) and anesthetic, was the substance that caused the death of Richins' husband, having had "five times the lethal dosage of fentanyl" in his body.

Other phrases that were found in Richins' search history include "Can cops force you to do a lie detector test?" "Luxury prisons for the rich in America," "Death certificate says pending, will life insurance still pay?" "If someone is poisoned what does it go down on the death certificate as," and "How to permanently delete information from an iPhone remotely."

Prosecutors have stressed that the phone searches are "incriminating" and have alleged that Richins ended the life of her spouse of nine years with a lethal dose of the drug. 

They have also accused the suspect of withdrawing money from bank accounts without her husband’s knowledge and tried to change a life insurance policy to make herself the sole beneficiary.

Despite evidence that Richins purchased fentanyl in the months leading up to her husband's death, her defense lawyers argued that no fentanyl or other illegal drugs were found in the family home.

The defense also argued that the suspect had the right to access the joint accounts and that "there is no evidence" to prove that Richins was the one who logged into the insurance company's website to change the policy.

Richins is currently facing charges that include criminal homicide, aggravated murder, and three counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.

She had been put behind bars by authorities in early May following an investigation that reportedly found her requesting strong medical prescriptions similar to "some of the Michael Jackson stuff."

Richins, a published author, gained prominence for writing a children’s book about dealing with the grief of losing a loved one dubbed Are You With Me? which she took inspiration from her personal experiences following his husband’s "unexpected" death.