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Where does Kouri Richins case stand after attorneys leave?

Posted at 4:51 PM, Jun 11, 2024

KAMAS, Utah — The preliminary hearing that was supposed to be held for Kouri Richins remains in limbo weeks after her defense team withdrew from the case citing irreconcilable differences.

Although new attorneys have since been appointed, no one seems sure when the case will move along. Richins is accused of killing her husband, Eric, with a fatal dose of fentanyl in 2022.

"It’s unfortunate because there is going to be another delay," said Greg Skordas, spokesperson for Eric Richins' family. "It took a year just to get to the point we are now, and we haven’t even had a preliminary hearing."

Richins has denied the charges that she fatally poisoned her husband's drink.

In November, Richins brother worried after a request to dismiss the murder case was denied.

"My biggest fear that I have is finding a jury pool that hasn’t already been tainted by the prosecution," claimed Ronnie Darden.

The high profile case has received widespread national attention from multiple networks highlighting the various developments.

Last month, Third District Court Judge Richard Mrazik accepted the request by the firm of Ray, Quinney and Nebeker to be dismissed as Richins' defense due to a conflict of interest. New counsel was assigned, with Nester Lewis being paid for by Summit County.

Richins' new representation said Tuesday that they are not speaking to the media.

When asked by Mrazik in May about the original preliminary hearing scheduled for next week, attorney Wendy Lewis responded it wouldn’t be a viable date due to the multiple terabytes of discovery.

"The judge will schedule another preliminary hearing, but given the huge volume of evidence, I imagine that’s going to be 60-90 days maybe even further down the road," Skordas believes.

Next up is a scheduling conference for June 21.

"The fact that we’re back at square one is a little bit frustrating," added Skordas. "The fact that Kouri is in custody and will remain there for the foreseeable future, so the delay isn’t maybe as painful as it could have been; but yeah, there won’t be a preliminary hearing set anytime soon."

Skordas thinks it's possible that a trial can take place next summer, although Richins' family continues to hold out hope, saying the case against her just doesn’t make sense when you know her like they do.

"Anyone that actually knows her, knows she’s just incapable of doing that," said Darden last year. "My sister, she can’t even squash a spider. She loved Eric. She loved her family more than anything."

"The goal here is to make sure that justice is served," said Skordas, "and that Kouri is responsible for her conduct. If that takes another year, then it takes another year.