PHOTOS: Texas actress Shannon Rogers Guess Richardson indicted for mailing ricin letters to Obama, Bloomberg

A Texas actress has been indicted and charged with sending ricin-laced letters to U.S. President Barack Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the U.S. Department of Justice said on Friday.

Shannon Guess Richardson, 35, of New Boston, Texas, was arrested on June 7.

Richardson was charged earlier this month in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas with mailing a threatening communication. She faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted, according to federal prosecutors.

Richardson, who has played minor roles on TV programs including The Walking Dead, could not immediately be reached for comment. A lawyer for Richardson’s husband, who the FBI had initially investigated, did not immediately respond to a call seeking comment. The couple lives in New Boston, a small town about 150 miles northeast of Dallas, near the borders of Oklahoma and Arkansas.

The letters, sent last month, made threatening references related to the U.S. debate on gun control. A third letter, also containing ricin, was sent to the director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a group founded by Bloomberg that lobbies for stricter gun laws.

The letters read, in part, “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,” according to court papers filed on Friday.

The woman had told investigators in Shreveport, Louisiana, that her husband, Nathaniel David Richardson, had sent the letters and also said she was afraid that he would try to poison her, according to court papers.

When investigators questioned her husband, he denied any role in sending the letters and blamed his wife. On Thursday, she confessed to investigators that she mailed the letters, according to court papers.

Emergency workers who came in contact with the letters initially showed minor symptoms of ricin exposure, officials said.

“Fortunately, neither Mayor Bloomberg, President Obama, the director of the Mayors Committee Against Illegal Guns, nor those who processed the ricin-laced mail incurred serious illness or injury,” said New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly in a statement praising the arrest.

Ricin is a lethal poison found naturally in castor beans, but it takes a deliberate act to convert it into a biological weapon. Ricin can cause death within 36 to 72 hours from exposure to an amount as small as a pinhead. No known antidote exists.

A computer owned by the Richardsons showed signs of searches on recent ricin letters sent from Tupelo, Mississippi, which police believe to be an unrelated incited.

A Mississippi martial arts instructor earlier this week pleaded not guilty to charges he sent ricin-laced letters to Obama and other public officials.




News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

NBA

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

NFL

Jerry Reese confident with Giants, skipping countdown clocks…

Last year, Giants GM Jerry Reese installed a countdown clock in the locker room to inspire Big Blue to play in their own stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.