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Kouri Richins’ Hopes of Flipping a Utah Mansion Have Been Dashed After She Was Charged in the Death of Her Husband, Eric

Credits: NBC News

Brian Steven Smith, a 52-year-old man from South Africa, was found guilty of first-degree murder for killing two Alaska Native women, Kathleen Henry in 2019 and Veronica Abouchuk either in 2018 or 2019.

The verdict was returned by an Anchorage jury after deliberating for less than two hours. Smith, who showed no reaction in court, was also convicted of multiple counts of sexual assault.

Smith was arrested after a woman stole his cellphone from his truck and discovered a video of him torturing one of the victims as she died.

Kouri Richins (Credits: CBS News)

The woman, a sex worker who became a key witness, copied the footage to a memory card she said she had stolen and turned it over to the police. Smith later confessed to killing the second victim, whose body had been found earlier but had been misidentified.

Sentencing for Smith is scheduled for July 12 and July 19. Alaska does not have the death penalty. Relatives of the victims had mixed reactions to the verdict.

Freda Dan, part of the Abouchuk family by marriage, praised law enforcement and the judicial system for their thorough work and for treating them with respect.

Smith’s wife, Stephanie Bissland of Anchorage, described him as being good to her but acknowledged his problems were likely exacerbated by heavy drinking. She plans to write to him and visit him in prison, stating that divorce is not in the cards for her because she made vows to him.

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