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Texas actress charged in Obama ricin threat

June 7, 2013 • Entertainment


Shannon Richardson is placed into a Titus County Sheriff’s car after an initial appearance Friday, June 7, 2013 at the federal building Texarkana, Texas. The FBI says Shannon Richardson admitted sending ricin-tainted letters to President Barack Obama and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, but only after trying to pin it on her husband. ((AP Photo/The Texarkana Gazette, Curt Youngblood) MANDATORY CREDIT

TEXARKANA, Texas (AP) — A pregnant Texas actress who first told the FBI that her husband sent ricin-tainted letters to President Barack Obama and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, then allegedly said she sent them because her husband “made her” do it, was charged Friday with threatening the president.

Shannon Guess Richardson, 35, appeared in a Texarkana courtroom after being charged with mailing a threatening communication to the president. The federal charge carries up to 10 years in prison, U.S. attorney’s office spokeswoman Davilyn Walston said.

Richardson, a mother of five who has played bit roles on television and in movies, was arrested earlier Friday for allegedly mailing the ricin-laced letters last month to the White House, Bloomberg and the mayor’s Washington gun-control group. The letters — which authorities determined were mailed from Richardson’s hometown of New Boston or nearby Texarkana and postmarked in Shreveport, La. — threatened violence against gun-control advocates, authorities said.

However, Richardson’s court-appointed attorney, Tonda Curry, said there was no intention to harm anyone. She noted that it’s common knowledge that the mail is checked before it reaches the person to whom these letters were addressed.

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