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
International

Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.

Local

VIDEO: Cop reassigned as NYPD investigates alleged head…

An officer alleged to have stomped on a Brooklyn man's head last week had his gun taken away and placed on modified duty.

National

New York Times calls for legalization of pot

The New York Times editorial board on Saturday endorsed a repeal of the federal ban on marijuana, becoming the largest paper in the nation to back the idea.

National

Two injured after cable snaps on Ohio amusement…

(Reuters) - A cable on a large swing ride at an Ohio amusement park snapped and struck two riders as the swing was in motion,…

Music

Newport Folk Festival: Photo gallery of 35 moments…

As has been the tradition since Bob Dylan plugged in a bajillion years ago, the Newport Folk Festival embraces more musical genres than its name implies.

Music

MKTO: Behind the bromance

MKTO's Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller talk about the American Dream tour, Demi Lovato and getting turned down by girls.

Arts

James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne head to…

Two-time Tony winner James Earl Jones returns to the New York stage next month as an eccentric grandfather in a revival of the 1930s comedy…

Movies

Box office: Scarlett Johansson wins battle of brains…

Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" handily dispatched with Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" over the weekend.

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Auto racing

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Wellbeing

This Week In Health: Friends share similar DNA,…

Friends share similar DNA, study finds Location: U.S. Study subjects: Nearly 2,000 people Results: When it comes to our social networks, it seems that birds of…

Education

Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…

Education

Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…

Career

Feeling stuck? Get out of the entry-level job…

Television and movies may be littered with 20-something characters who seem directionless when it comes to their careers, but author Mary Traina says she finds…