A former actress who sent ricin-laced letters to President Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has pleaded guilty in federal court in Texarkana, Texas, as part of a deal to limit her sentence to no more than 18 years.
Shannon Guess Richardson, a mother of six from Texas, had minor roles in The Walking Dead and The Blind Side. She mailed three ricin-laced letters from New Boston, Texas, near Texarkana, and then contacted police to say that her estranged husband had done it.
"The letters reportedly focused on the national debate over gun control and threatened violence if more restrictions are put on gun ownership. The ones sent to Bloomberg and the gun control group showed traces of ricin, a deadly poison, in preliminary tests. The letter sent to Obama [was] being tested."
The Associated Press says that Richardson, 35, "acknowledged in a signed plea agreement document filed Tuesday that she ordered castor beans online and learned how to process them into a substance used to make ricin. She obtained an email address, a PayPal shopping account and a post office box in her husband's name without his knowledge, according to the document."
The AP continues:
"On the morning of May 20, she said, she waited for Nathan Richardson to go to 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.' "