An actress from Texas, Shannon Richardson, 35, who had minor roles in the television series “The Walking Dead” and the movie “The Blind Side,” pleaded guilty yesterday to sending letters laced with ricin to President Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Richardson pled guilty in federal court in Texarkana, Texas, to a federal charge of possessing and producing a biological toxin. Her attorney said Richardson’s plea would result in her prison time being capped at 18 years.
Her arrest came in June, after she tried to implicate her estranged husband, Nathan Richardson, after he filed for divorce. Richardson mailed three letters from New Boston, outside Texarkana, then she went to the police and told them her husband had mailed the letters.
Richardson is the mother of six children, including one child born prematurely while she was in custody this year who is currently with her husband.
After investigators noted inconsistencies in Richardson’s statements, they later learned that she had purchased materials online to produce ricin, a poison that can cause respiratory failure if inhaled.
In her plea agreement document, Richardson said she ordered castor beans online and learned how to process them into a substance used to make ricin. She got an email address, a PayPal shopping account and a post office box, all in her husband’s name without his knowledge.
On the morning of May 20, she sprang into action after her husband left for work.
“After he left the house, I printed the mailing labels for President Barack Obama, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Mark Glaze with The Raben Group,” Richardson said in the document. Glaze is director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Bloomberg’s group advocating for tougher gun control.
The letter to Obama, according to the document, read: “What’s in this letter is nothing compared to what ive got in store for you mr president.”
“You will have to kill me and my family before you get my guns,” the letter read. “Anyone wants to come to my house will get shot in the face.”
After she mailed the letters, she admitted authorities that she had lied to police and tried to blame her husband.
Her attorney, Tonda Curry said the couple’s newborn son is healthy and steadily growing. Their divorce likely will not be finalized until next year.