Shannon Guess Richardson, the actress* who tried to blame her husband for sending letters poisoned with ricin to President Obama, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Mark Glaze (former director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns) has been sentenced to 18 years in prison by a federal judge Michael H. Schneider for “possessing and producing a biological toxin. She was also ordered to pay nearly $367,000 in restitution as part of a plea deal.
Although she pleaded guilty last December, Shannon, 36, claimed that she “never intended for anyone to be hurt and that she thought that security measures would prevent the letters from actually reaching their intended targets.
“I’m not a bad person. I don’t have it in me to hurt anyone,” she told the court,” although Schneider pointed out the fact that she had indeed put a lot of lives in jeopardy, as well as threatening public officials.
According to court documents, her letter to Obama 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. Anyone wants to come to my house will get shot in the face."
Richardson, a mother of six (including one child born pre-maturely while she was in custody) had mailed the three letters from New Boston (outside of Texarkana, TX) and then reported that her estranged husband Nathan was the “actual” culprit. She was arrested by police last June. Nathan, who knew nothing about the plot, had filed for divorce before the crimes were committed. She later admitted that she had made the ricin from castor bean seeds ordered by mail, paying for then via PayPal.
Ricin is a highly toxic, and even a few grains of the powder “the size of table salt” can kill an adult by preventing cells from building various amino acids into proteins (essential to all living beings) if inhaled. It can also be ingested, damaging the gastronintestinal tract.
* Richardson had a minor role in the TV show “The Walking dead,” and had appeared in the Sandra Bullock movie “The Blind Side.”