Woman Gets 18 Years for Sending President Poison Letters
A Texas woman who had minor acting roles in film and television was sentenced Wednesday to 18 years in prison for sending ricing-laced letters to President Barack Obama and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
A judge sentenced Shannon Guess Richardson, 36, in federal court in Texarkana, Texas, on a federal charge of possessing and producing a biological toxin. She had pleaded guilty to the charge in December in a deal her attorney said capped the sentence at 18 years. Richardson also must pay restitution.
Prosecutors say Richardson mailed three letters from New Boston, outside Texarkana, then went to police and claimed that her estranged husband had done it. Richardson was arrested last June after authorities said she tried to implicate Nathan Richardson, who had had filed for divorce.
Prosecutors say investigators noted inconsistencies in Richardson’s statements and later learned that she had purchased materials online to produce ricin, a toxin that can cause respiratory failure if inhaled.
Richardson has had minor roles in the television series “The Walking Dead” and the movie “The Blind Side.” She also is the mother of six children — including one born prematurely while she was in custody.