Court may decide if Kouri Richins can speak to her family Nov. 3
Kouri Richins’ next scheduled court appearance could determine whether she will be barred from talking to her mom and brother.
Kouri was to be in court Nov. 3 for a scheduling conference before her preliminary hearing. Now that will be when the Third District Court could determine if she will be allowed to communicate with her mother and brother, Lisa and Ronney Darden.
Kouri faces murder and drug charges in connection with the overdose death of her husband Eric Richins in 2022. She would go on to write a children’s book to help her three sons grieve the loss of their father.
The Summit County Attorney’s Office motioned for a no-contact order after a search of Kouri’s cell turned up a letter which it said was evidence of witness tampering.
Ostensibly written to Lisa, the letter contained instructions for Ronney and four of Kouri’s friends to tell defense attorney Skye Lazaro and the press Eric purchased pills and fentanyl in Mexico. It admitted Ronney may have to testify to that in court.
But Kouri later said the letter wasn’t real; instead, it was the beginning of a fictional book about staying in a Mexican prison.
Lazaro has further claimed the search of Kouri’s cell was illegal and called on the court to hold the state in contempt. Prosecutors contend inmates don’t have a reasonable expectation of privacy.
At the hearing Nov. 3, the defense is expected to point out there’s no evidence Lisa ever received or read the letter. Lazaro’s court filings also say calling the letter a “false narrative” unfairly taints the credibility of Kouri and other witnesses.
But prosecutors point to a previous letter Kouri allegedly held up for her mother to read during a video call, implying it might be a previous instance of witness tampering.
The state previously speculated it was flushed or destroyed, but now the defense says it has possession of the letter—and it wasn’t written by Kouri.
Judge Richard Mrazik will hear arguments from both sides Friday, Nov. 3, but is not required to rule on the matter that day.